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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Fly Me to the Moon: 1942

Fly Me to the Moon: 1942

May 1942. Parris Island, South Carolina. "Marine Corps glider detachment training camp. A glider winch." Medium format nitrate negative from photos by by Pat Terry and Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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Gliders in Germany

I had never seen gliders launched this way until I was serving in the Army in Giessen, Germany in 1965-1967. The website in the post by StefanJ, under the "G" tab, will get you to the Giessen glider club's website - they used winches to launch their gliders back then, and apparently still do.


The wheel and hubcap are from a 1937 Ford V8 equipped vehicle, and the hood seems to be from a 1928 Chevrolet.

Wrong Way

Unless it pulls gliders from behind the guy's back, it's facing the wrong way. The gliders would be taking off downwind, making them uncontrollable.

The cage keeps the end of the cable with a little parachute attached from falling on him. The glider releases it pretty much right overhead.

[I suspect they know what they're doing. Below, two more views. - Dave]

Kinda basic

- Engine - check!
- Drive shaft - check!
- Cable drum - check!
- Power lever - can't see it, but I guess it will be a pedal - check!
- Safety cage - a very strong must for a winch, those cables are like band saws if they get out of control - check!
- Brake - can't see that, either, but I would guess another pedal - check!
- Cable guillotine - can't see that either, but it is an indispensable safety item.

Well, what is that steeringwheelgood for? My first guess would be a manual cable spooling guide. To reduce wear and tear and cable salad potential.

And voila, you got a glider winch.

More modern incarnations can be found galore under

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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