This is not, as it would at first appear, what the engineering wags used to call a “Wernher von Braun divorce” — indeed, the device our svelte maiden is strapped into is not even a rocket, despite all appearances:

to the moon

According to Weird Universe, that’s Miss Margaret Travis, preparing with something less than full enthusiasm to demonstrate something called the Shapson Aquaplane at Santa Monica, California in 1935. It was, supposedly, a crank-operated device allowing a swimmer to achieve a speed of 12 knots through the water, although it seems not to have caught on as a technology.

Here’s a newspaper clipping and photo featuring a different model and swimmer, one Bobbie Sperry, whose facial expression suggests she’s even less impressed than Ms. Travis with inventor S. Shapiro and his whizbang device:

I can swim faster than your cigar

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