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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • AUSTRALIAN KOALA, 1930s

Roger the Riveter: 1942

Roger the Riveter: 1942

October 1942. "Riveter at work at the Douglas Aircraft plant in Long Beach, California." Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer. View full size.

 

Airplane?

I'm a little at a loss what airplane this would be for.

The wing shape is for a low speed airplane, and it's awfully small, and not tapered in chord; and there are no attachment points at the root.

Not bucking for a promotion

This appears to be a staged photo, as he's not standing up, holding a bucking bar on the inside, and I don't see another worker holding a bucking bar. The rivets he's driving are AN426 (the AN stood for Army/Navy) 100 degree countersunk aluminum rivets. Today they're designated MS20426, the MS standing for Mil-Spec. I got to drive and buck both these and the round head AN470 (later MS20470) rivets, in high school in the '70s.

The countersunk rivets required a special countersinking bit, or, in some cases (small parts), the metal was stamped to the required 100 degrees.

[To quote Dave: [As we have pointed out elsewhere, most of the Palmer photos were posed. Some were used as studies by illustrators painting recruitment and bond drive posters. - Dave] -tterrace]

Thought it had to be a trainer ...

Until I took a closer look at the "wooden" wing ribs and saw that despite their color they are aluminum. At first glance they looked to be made of solid birch, which would make the plane a trainer or, at its most ferocious, a light observation or liaison aircraft.

Across the pond, the Spitfire was supposedly based heavily on wooden members in its construction, though to what degree I cannot hazard a guess. And then there's America's Spruce Goose, genuinely unique and an anomaly almost before construction began. But I don't believe any first-line fighters or bombers in the US inventory during World War II had wooden structural members.

Always open to having my misconceptions corrected, of course.

Outta Time

"Roger" looks very 1965, like he's gonna be hitting the surf as soon as work's done.

 
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