National Geographic : 1918 Jan
© Committee on Public Information AT A PUNCHING MACHINE IN AN AIRPLANE PARTS FACTORY The world is no longer a stage with the machine shop where each must do his or her with care, the fittings for a flying machine. country. Meanwhile, necessary prepara tions were made for planting the crop and extracting the oil when the harvest shall have been gathered. This has been done, as so many other new, unexpected, and surprising things have had to be done, in building up Amer ica's Air Army. If ever there has been a succession of unforeseeable needs, of baffling problems, and of almost heroic methods to hew through to results in time, it has been in the effort to establish upon almost no foundations whatever one of the most intricate, and I am not sure it is not the most intricate, industry in the men and women merely players, but a vast bit-in this instance punching, and punching world. I only wish it were possible to thrill others with a little of the romance of this new industry which has so thrilled us here in Washington during the past six months of effort. Many people think an airplane is a sim ple thing to build-a pair of wings at tached to some sort of body, with an en gine in between and a propeller in front. A few rough cuttings, it is pictured, a little nailing up, and the machine is ready. This is not at all surprising, for even many manufacturers themselves are igno rant of the fine workmanship and ma terials which must go into an airplane.