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Fort Worth: 1942

Fort Worth: 1942

October 1942. Lathe operator machining parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft plant in Fort Worth, Texas. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem, Office of War Information.


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No workpiece?

No tooling either. And you usually don't want to leave hand tools on top of an old school turret lathe while running parts. Still it's fun to see a picture of one of these new. I've never seen one that wasn't covered in ... we'll call it "patina".

Authentic Feeling

The photo may be posed, but the soiled apron and shirt provide a feeling of authenticity. The 4x5 Kodachrome and sharp focus give great detail, including the end of the steel rule visible in the apron pocket.


Nice shot, although it is completely staged. There is no workpiece mounted to the faceplate of the lathe!

[Posed, not "staged." - Dave]


It is a good idea to wear eye protection when running a turret lathe.

The Cap

Do you get the feeling the new, clean yellow cap was carefully perched on top of her hair by the photographer to get some "Kodachrome" color into the posed picture? Love the detail in the metal, though.

Nail Polish

And why should she not wear nail polish? It didn't affect how well she did her job and made her feel pretty. An affordable luxury went a long way in those uncertain times.

What a lovely lady!

What a lovely lady!


That hanging strap is dangerous over a lathe!

Has anyone else noticed?

That she is wearing red nail polish?


Fort Worth

God bless you ladies, and God bless Kodachrome.

[Amen! - Dave]

Fort Worth

Forth Worth, Where the Westh Begins
Dallash, Where the Easth Ends

This site indicates Consolidated Air is now Lockheed Martin, and was General Dynamics in between. The plant is adjacent to the former Carswell Air Force Base, which was closed and transformed as the Joint Naval Air Station.

“Forth Worth”

There was a Dodge truck commercial that ran down here in Texas for 3 or 4 years that had a Texas map in the background that had that same typo in it ("Forth Worth" instead of "Fort Worth"). I don't know if anyone else ever noticed it or if Dodge (or its ad agency) just didn't care.

[Oopfh! Fixed. - Dave]

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