Thursday, April 8, 2010

Flying Fortress


Today's picture was taken in 1942, and shows a woman assembling the bombardier nose section of a B-17 F bomber. The picture was taken at the the Douglas Aircraft Company plant in Long Beach, California. The B-17 was known at the "Flying Fortress,"  The B-17 had a crew of 7-9 men.

Lots of interesting discussion yesterday on the topic of manufacturing jobs in US. I have to admit that I wonder just how much has been outsourced. For example, are there ANY fabric mills running in the US that would be able to take cotton, and make t-shirts. Our little town has a Woolen Mill that can take raw wool from a sheep, and turn it into really very nice blankets. It still works, but unfortunately it is a Museum now. It had to shut down long ago, because no one wants a fine wool blanket (expensive). Everyone wants a $5 polyester blanket from Walmart. Sort of sad that nowdays a functioning Woolen Mill can only be found in a museum.

15 comments:

  1. The color pictures this week are so crisp and clear, they almost look like paintings! Thank you for posting them.

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  2. The Johnson Woolen Mill in Vermont still makes blankets and (most essentially) fabulous wool jackets. Hard to call yourself a Vermonter if you don't own one of them. Just don't leave it on the back of a chair at Town Meeting....

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  3. I'm a quilter so handle a lot of cotton fabric. As I understand it, there is no company left in the US that makes cotton fabric for sale by the yard. There are lots of people in the US who design the fabrics tho.

    Of course, the schools no longer teach people how to sew, so the number of people who know how to do that is shrinking fast. I guess no one is interested in doing for themselves anymore.

    Thanks for the tip on the Johnson Woolen Mill. Our wool blankets are about 50 years old and still warm and comfy.

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  4. The Pendleton Mill in Oregon still weaves woolen blankets. They also offer a very interesting tour of their mill.

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  5. Pope George RingoApril 8, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    NAFTA killed us. Ross Perot was right when he warned of a "big sucking sound" of US Jobs going overseas.
    Even telemarketing is gone. I tried speaking to an ATT rep on the phone and could not understand a word he was saying. I had to e-mail instead.
    American Made is becoming a thing of the past and unfortunately quality has been sacrificed too.
    I own a Notre Dame t-shirt made in the USA that I have worn for ten years and it still is good as new. T shirts made outside of the USA last about a year.
    I only hope and pray we can find some way of bringing back our manufacturing infrastructure.

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  6. Well, look at that little cutie-pie! Love the manicured hands with the bright red nail polish, and the red lipstick and the bright red work-jacket, and the bright red headscarf too! Wonder if she was especially decked out for the photo? It seems hard to imagine that women would look like this every day for their work at a factory...

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  7. Yep. I would suspect it's a posed shot. Even though she's got a bandage on her right hand, from personal experience I know you don't wear rings when working around stuff that can snatch a hunk o' jewelry and whatever body part it's attached to. Luckily, I got to watch such actions without actually participating.

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  8. That struck me as strange also.
    That is a lot of jewelry to be wearing to work.
    She is as clean as if the day just started, but maybe that Plexiglas has to be clean at all times. If that is the case then where would she get dirty from.
    But I still don't like the fact that she is wearing jewelry.
    R

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  9. perhaps it was not stages, and she really wore jewelry in her industrial job. That might explain the bandage on the finger on her right hand, recently sewn back on?

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  10. As far as I understood some years ago when I cam to USA, more than 60% of the goods used there are produced abroad. So, if you leave aside the food industry and the heavy stuff, I guess you buy only 5-10% American Made products.

    And it's not only the loss of quality or the loss of jobs/expertize. It is also dangerous. Imagine a situation where USA/Europe decide to go for an embargo against China or India. Empty Walmarts, probably, with the exception of the food areas.

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  11. Interesting as well is that her badge shows Temporary. Maybe she was brought in just for the photo?
    Or she was injured in another part of the plant and brought there for a easier job whilst her damaged hand gets better.

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  12. It wasn't that long ago that Wal-Mart bragged about every thing they sold was made in the USA.
    Until they got caught with none USA itmes in the store.
    R

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  13. I read some place that even our military uniforms are made in China! Now, that's just plain disgusting.

    I have two woolen blankets my folks bought for me to take to boarding school and although they are thin, they are still usable and warm. (I graduated in 1960.) When we were cleaning out my mom's apartment, we found her WWII topcoat, labeled "US Coast Guard Quartermaster" - motheaten around the hem, but still wearable, and I'm going to shorten it to car-coat length and do just that.

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  14. Second thoughts - Persuaded asked if this woman was "all decked out" for the photo. She may have had on a bit more make up than usual, but this was an era when women got up and put on foundation garments and heels to do the housework. Today, they go to the store in pajamas!

    Also, the only jewelry this woman is wearing is a watch and her wedding rings. The earrings were probably plastic, but I have an old magazine with directions for making earrings from ric-rac trim. All metal - well, everything, really - was set aside for "our boys overseas". Skirts were worn short because fabric was rationed, men's suits were pulled apart and the material used to make clothing for children and smaller women, etc.

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  15. Isn't that A Display At The Smithsonian In D.C.?

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