Marion Rice Hart

Marion Rice Hart (10 October 1891 – July 2, 1990)[1] was an American sportswoman and writer.

Hart was born in London, the fourth of six children of Isaac Rice,[2] a businessman who founded the Electric Boat Company[3] (producer of submarines for the US Navy and others). Her older sister Dorothy Rice Peirce Sims (1889–1960) also became famous as an aviator and sportswoman. Their mother Julia B. Rice founded the Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noises in New York City.[3]

According to the cultural historian Hillel Schwartz, as paraphrased by a New Yorker journalist:

"In 1903, Isaac Rice and his wife and intellectual partner, Julia Barnett Rice—both accomplished musicians—sought to escape noisy Broadway. They built a four-story mansion on the tree-lined drive, then a place replete with coaches and foreign servants, and largely free from cars. Julia had a medical degree; Isaac, a venture capitalist, invested in things like air compressors, submarines, and the “pickled energy” that powered electric vehicles."

Julia Rice's campaign resulted in a federal law "quieting the whistles of ships in federal waters".[4]

Hart was the first woman to graduate in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a masters in geology from Columbia University.[5]

As an aviator, Hart made seven solo flights across the Atlantic Ocean[5] and was awarded the 1975 Harmon Trophy[citation needed].

According to a 1960 obituary of Dorothy Rice Sims, Hart had "achieved note during the [1930s] by sailing across 30,000 miles of ocean in an 80-foot ketch". Dorothy was survived by Marion and three others of their siblings.[3]

Books by HartEdit

  • Who Called That Lady a Skipper? (1938) describing her voyage on the ketch Vanora (ISBN 0-7812-8169-5).
  • How to Navigate Today (1940) a treatise on celestial navigation (ISBN 0-87033-035-7), and
  • I Fly as I Please (1953, Vanguard Press) describing her aerial adventures.

Further readingEdit

  • Dorothy Rice Sims, Curiouser and Curiouser, a Book in the Jugular Vein, illustrated by the author (Simon & Schuster, 1940) – autobiographical, LCCN 41-470

How to Live on a Hunch The Fog with Valentine Smith


  1. ^ California, Death Index, 1940-1997. State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics.
  2. ^ Craft, Virginia (January 13, 1975), "Flying in the Face of Age", Sports Illustrated, pp. 28 et seq., archived from the original on 2011-06-03, retrieved 2015-10-12
  3. ^ a b c "Mrs. P. Hal Sims, 70, Bridge Star, Dead". The New York Times. March 25, 1960. Page 27.
  4. ^ "The Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise". Peter Andrey Smith. The New Yorker. Retrieved 2014-11-18.
  5. ^ a b Cook, Joan (July 4, 1990). "Marion R. Hart, 98; Made 7 Solo Flights Across the Atlantic". The New York Times. pp. A13. Retrieved 2009-09-05.

External linksEdit