SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Wingman: 1942

Wingman: 1942

July 1942. Fairfax bomber plant, Kansas City. "A wing brace for a B-25 bomber being prepared for the assembly line at North American Aviation. With plenty of speed, a 1,700-mile cruising range and a ceiling of 25,000 feet, the B-25 has performed as a medium bomber and as an escort plane. General Doolittle has called the ship the best military plane in existence." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer, Office of War Information. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!


I'm going to have to say, this man's good-looking.

The Union

Interesting, that the worker wears two badges on his overalls. The #32, his employee number at North American Aviation. The other is his UAW, CIO union affiliation button. The United Auto Workers (UAW) evidently organized the workers at this plant and were part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The unions were the bargaining agents for the workers there. During WWII the right to strike was forbidden by the government, the war effort was more important. Coming out of the depression, nobody wanted to lose their job or see their workplace nationalized. When the war ended, many industries were plagued by strikes, most of them settled so that the businesses could get back to making consumer goods that were not made during the war.


My father held me by the hand when we went to see the unveiling of the DC-7 passenger plane. He worked for the CAA (later to become the FAA) and all of his buddies stood around laughing because "it's a great piece of engineering, but they'll never fill it with enough passengers to make it pay." He died before the Boeing 707 was introduced.

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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