Hands to the Skies

Amelia Earhart. Prints and Photographs Division.

In palmistry, a person’s personality traits, talents and interests are revealed through the topography of his or her hands. Amelia Earhart, born July 24, 1897, had her palm prints analyzed by palmist Nellie Simmons Meier four years before her mysterious disappearance. According to Meier’s analysis, the length and breadth of the famed aviator’s palm indicated a love of physical activity and a strong will. Earhart’s long fingers not only showed her conscientious attention to detail and pursuit of perfection but also revealed her ambitious yet rational nature. Her palm further reflected the reasoned and logistical manner of someone who considers all possibilities before making a decision.

Meier prepared Earhart’s palm print an analysis on June 28, 1933, and you can read it here, as part of the Library’s American Memory collections.

Palm of Amelia Earhart. American Memory Collections.

“There is a wide stretch between her thumbs and fingers and between the fingers themselves which, coupled with the shape of the nails, is indicative of an impatience over restraining influence either from individuals or the conventionalities of social life. The diplomacy indicted by the little finger enables her to conform to such restrictions for a certain period, and then the urge for physical and mental activity becomes so strong that she seeks escape by a flight in her plane,” wrote Meier in her 1937 book, “Lions’ Paws: The Story of Famous Hands.”

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with Lady Lindy, including manuscripts, photographs and books. This handy guide compiles all the available resources pooled from several Library divisions and collections.

Meier donated her papers to the Library, and the collection includes autographed original palm prints, autographed photographs and character sketches of 135 well-known individuals, including Walt Disney, Susan B. Anthony, George Gerswhin, Mary Pickford and Booker T. Washington.

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