Tuesday, November 7, 2017

100 years ago in Spokane: Region’s spruce eyed for aircraft manufacture

A Spokane man was convinced that Spokane was perfectly positioned for a new wartime industry: airplane manufacturing.

J.C. Ralston had just returned from an inspection trip to the East, where he visited big airplane plants in New Jersey and New York.

He said the trip had “deeply impressed” him with the “favorable possibilities of aircraft production in Spokane, which is close to the center of the spruce industry.”

He said, “This (a lack of quality spruce) is the great bugbear of Eastern manufacture.”

As it turned out, Spokane never became a large center for airplane manufacture. Yet even as Ralston was uttering the above words, a Seattle timber man named William E. Boeing – who owned forests of spruce – was acquiring military contracts and building planes in his big Red Barn on the Duwamish River in south Seattle.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.spokesman.com

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