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Shift Change: 1941

Shift Change: 1941

June 1941. "Change of shift at Pratt & Whitney United Aircraft. East Hartford, Connecticut." The sign: DON'T LEAN ON GLASS. Acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.


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World War II would have certainly bolstered this company's income, to be followed by milestone aviation events; the development of the Boeing 707 in the 1950s and Boeing 747 in the late 1960s. Pratt & Whitney was instrumental in making mass jet transport possible on a huge scale, and commercially viable, in hand with Boeing and Pan Am's visionary gambles, which ushered in what we know as 'The Jet Age' - closing the distances and time for air travel.

Main St, Beech Grove Indiana

My hometown Main Street looked just like this in the 60's when the Penn Central RR repair shop shift ended. The whole town was alerted when the 4:25 steam whistle blew.

The wave of men wearing striped 'engineer caps' and matching bib overalls would spill west toward their modest bungalow homes, but their numbers would diminish the farther they walked.

You see, there were taverns in every block - sometimes several.

Brace yourself!

So many suspenders.

Look Ma, no lunchboxes!

Pratt and Whitney must of provided meals for the crew. I don't see anyone carrying a lunchbox.


At the top of the steps on the left appears to be a fellow who is running late for his shift.

Thank you for this photo --

My grandfather worked here as an aircraft engine inspector at this time. He died shortly after of a heart attack. I never knew him and my mom only had one photo of him. I wonder and hope he is pictured here. Thanks for a look into the past, as always!

Men Only

Not a female in the entire crowd. In under a year, there will be a lot of women. Maybe more than the remaining men who aren't in uniform.

[A year later, it's still mostly men. - Dave]

Aircraft Attire

Apparently the shift change includes employees at all levels of the company. I see everything from work clothes to suits. The scene is reminiscent of school letting out!

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