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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Let's Build a Bomber: 1942

Let's Build a Bomber: 1942

December 1942. "Production of B-17 heavy bomber. A skilled team of men and women workers at the Boeing plant in Seattle complete assembly and fitting operations on the interior of a fuselage section for a new B-17F (Flying Fortress) bomber. About half of the workers at the Boeing plant are women." Photo by Andreas Feininger for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Call the QA Guys

Some isn't quite right with this part.

Tools of war

I can't identify the conventional hand drill shown, but the angle drill is a Sioux, produced by the Albertson Machine Co. in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Flying Model-T

A year or so ago I took a ride in the B-17 "Sentimental Journey". After reading all my life about how rugged these heavy bombers were I was amazed at how primitive they were. Patchwork pieces of aluminum riveted to the sides to try to protect the waist gunners from incoming machine guns. Aluminum skin you could dent with your finger. Control cables running exposed throughout. I have a new respect for all those airmen who flew these planes.

Of course nothing could mask the sound and smell of those four big radial engines and the rattle and vibration as the ship took to the air. Priceless experience!

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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