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The Tubularity: 1940

The Tubularity: 1940

October 1940. "Painting the cylinders of aircraft motors at the Pratt & Whitney plant. East Hartford, Conn." Nitrate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Keep em' Flying

Dave: As a senior at the Norwich Free Academy, Norwich, Conn., my dad was employed at the Pratt Whitney plant in East Hartford! He served as an "aircraft engine inspector" which led to testing and training (Chanute Air Field, Rantoul, Il.), as an enlisted "aerial engineer" in the Army Air Corp. That started the roll as a crew chief on C-47's in the Guadalcanal and Northern Solomon's campaigns.

All the young men in the photo appear war eligible; too bad my dad isn't present. He enlisted a week after Pearl Harbor. Great photo; I'm guessing things were ramping up already when this photo was taken in 1940. Thank you.

Not So Fast

Those radial engine cylinders may be useless to you, but they certainly are not obsolete artifacts. If they are in a condition that could be made serviceable ( no cracks in the head or deep scoring in the cylinder wall, etc. ) they are suitable as a core for overhaul. You could have a good chunk of change on your hands since aircraft parts "ain't cheap". There are many Pratt & Whitney, Wright, and Continental radial engines putting around the skies to this day.

All Too Familiar

The view of rows of aircraft engine cylinders is all too familiar. Just two weeks ago, at the conclusion of The First Five-Year Plan for clearing out my late father's "workshop", I organized into tidy rows at least an equal number of such P&W cylinders. I wonder if these pictured workers might have applied the paint (now flaking) from my inheritance. When I woke to this fine spring morning, I thought that perhaps I should start The Second Five Year Plan--Finding Useful Repurposes for Obsolete Artifacts, but chose instead to procrastinate with Shorpy's over coffee, only to be confronted by this pointed reminder of the need to dispossess myself of rows and rows of things quite useless to me.

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