1media/Dorothy Putnam posing in masculine attire_thumb.jpg2020-04-13T10:41:29-07:00Alexis Bard Johnson9328ae6a5985e503ee2cbc8a82cadb50636ac23d370892Dorothy Putnam posing in masculine attire. Undated.plain2020-04-18T21:45:58-07:00ONE Archives at the USC LibrariesColl2008-038 Dorothy C. Putnam and Lois Mercer papersONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives20110927This online display has been made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.Dorothy Putnam posing in masculine attire. Undated.KMLesbiansCross-dressing.USone_c2008-038_b02_f02_i18Dorothy Putnam in masculine attireNEH160814-0700United StatesAlexis Bard Johnson9328ae6a5985e503ee2cbc8a82cadb50636ac23d
1media/Dorothy Putnam in feminine attire.jpg2020-04-15T11:13:13-07:00Dorothy Putnam5plain2020-04-19T11:19:40-07:00Dorothy "Dot" Crocker Putnam was born in Massachusetts on October 15, 1895, the daughter of Frank Wright Putnam and Elle Crocker Putnam. She is a descendant of American Revolutionary War General Israel Putnam, and claimed to be a cousin of Amelia Earhart (although the relationship may have been to Earhart's husband, George Putnam). As a young woman, Putnam was a horseback mail carrier in Oregon. She later moved to Los Angeles, where she developed an interest in automobiles. In 1918, she became the first licensed female chauffeur in California, her clients including Carole Lombard, Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable. In addition, she also won a number of driving contests in Los Angeles during the 1920s. During World War II, she served in the Women's Ambulance and Transport Corps of California (W.A.T.C.C.), and later the Air Force, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant. After retiring from the Air Force, she became the first female senior truck driver for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.