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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Pioneer Parachute: 1942

Pioneer Parachute: 1942

August 1942. "Production. Parachute making. As these two girls thread shroud cords through the material, these yards of silk become more nearly recognizable as one of the parachutes turned out by this Eastern plant. Pioneer Parachute Company, Manchester, Connecticut." Photo by William Rittase for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

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By any name, still a parachute

Pioneer Parachute Company became Pioneer Aerospace Corporation and in 1988 was purchased by Zodiac Aerospace Group. Today, Zodiac Parachute and Protection America still manufactures a variety of parachutes and aerial delivery systems.

Silk City

For over a century Manchester was a center for silk production and still has the nickname "Silk City." The first factories opened in the mid-1800's, and by the beginning of the 20th Century the industry employed a high percentage of city residents. It was already in decline when World War II gave it a temporary boost, with the last factories closing about twenty years after the war. Some old silk mill buildings and workers' houses are preserved as the Cheney Brothers historic district. The mill buildings themselves have been converted into generally upscale apartments.

And after the war ...

... they all found jobs in the bridal gown industry.

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