Of course it wasn’t what I set out to do.
I’d actually thought it would be interesting to go through some old American aviation magazines and compare the advertising from late 1938 to late 1943 and then mid-1945…
I wanted to see how things changed as the Depression economy recovered but before war in Europe had begun; then in the depths of WW2 with only modest assurance of an Allied victory; and then right at the end when commercial and political focus had shifted to ‘winning the peace’.
And maybe I still will.
But first, it seems, the Douglas Skymaster hasn’t quite finished with me.
You may recall from Part 4 of The Story of EW999 a brief mention of the massive new C-54 production line Douglas built at Orchard Place, outside Chicago.
Despite being where all the RAF Skymasters were built, the factory’s story was somewhat apocryphal to that piece.
The fact that it was ENORMOUS and built entirely from wood to save strategic steel supplies were just kind of interesting, but not really relevant to that post. However, the account I stumbled across in November 1943’s Flying is much more complete – and simply too good to pass over.
So, craving the original publisher’s indulgence, here it is. Whether you’re interested in the C-54 itself, America’s prodigous WW2 productivity, or the origins of Chicago’s massive O’Hare terminus, it’s an amazing story.