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Wednesday
Sep282011

Shorpy.com Image: North American Aviation B-25 Factory 1942

B-25 assembly in progress in Kansas City: 1942 - from Shorpy.com (click pic for hi-res)

 Every trip I make over to Shorpy.com is a real adventure. I typically search for anything aviation oriented I can find (I don't have enough time in the day to broaden the search!) - it's an amazing resource for hi-res images from 50 to 100 years ago.

 I found this interesting image of a large quantity of B-25's being built at North American Aviation in Kansas City, Kansas back in 1942. It caught my eye specifically since I had just posted that awesome early morning dawn patrol CoolPix of the B-25 Lady Luck from OSH11.

 The effort put forth in World War II is hard for me to wrap my head around. The overall numbers of aircraft built (almost 10,000 of the B-25 for example) and the number of people all across the country required to accomplish this work is staggering. And while I'm no student of industrialized history, it would seem that much of that workforce (a very large percentage who were women) weren't specifically skilled in manufacturing when they began. But just as important is that this massive scale of manufacturing, and the processes needed to succeed in producing these large and labor-intensive aircraft was new to many of those managing the effort as well. It's all a stunning accomplishment to me.

 I also find it interesting to the the cleanliness of the factory floor and the incredibly orderly way that these aircraft are being built. Given the urgency of the need for these warbirds, this high level of discipline seems very impressive. 

 It would seem that World War II transformed the United States in many ways... and I find it hard to believe that the discipline and character of the 1940's is so far removed from the way our culture is today. If we were just a fraction of the people we were then, the future for the USA would be very bright indeed for 2012 and beyond.

 

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Reader Comments (3)

For those curious about "where" this factory was (it actually is Kansas City, Kansas and not Missouri (Downtown) as I expected there's a lot of info on the facility, airport and history here - http://www.airfields-freeman.com/KS/Airfields_KS_E.htm#fairfax

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Fast

I find it very sexist that there are no women in this picture helping to build the B-25's. I would think with today's technology a woman worker could easily be photoshop'd in.

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFolker Krentz

@Folker Krentz- What would you expect from a site called AirPigz?? (hehe) I may have to start a 'commenter of excellence' award after that great piece of work! Thanx for making me laugh : )

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

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