The aircraft factory that helped transform Seattle into a high-tech industrial giant is slated to be torn down. Boeing's Plant 2 gave birth to some of the most significant aircraft of World War II, introduced women into industrial jobs on a large scale (known as Rosie the Riveters), and even participated in some large-scale subterfuge.
Can you find the plant in this picture?
When the factory was opened in 1936, Seattle's main exports were fish and timber. As World War II progressed the factory would help to transform the local workforce into highly-skilled production workers, a tradition that continues today. Plant 2 produced the B-17, B-29, and developed the B-47 and B-52. It even produced early models of the B-737 which Boeing still makes today. Joe Sutter, known as the "Father of the 747" since he served as the jumbo's chief engineer, got his start when he took a summer job at Plant 2 in 1940 while studying aeronautical engineering.
As the planes in Boeing's inventory got bigger the low ceilings of the plant made large scale production impractical even though engineers put hinges on the tails of some B-52s. Parts of the plant up until recently served as a machine shop and storage area for Boeing's other manufacturing facilities.
See the full story, including more pictures at NPR.org