July 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 3 
Historical Perspective

Where it all began


Where it all beganThere could not be a more appropriate place for a museum exhibit dedicated to the history of Boeing than in the building where the company was born—the Red Barn.

Built in Seattle in 1909, the Museum of Flight's William E. Boeing Red Barn is home to a new exhibit titled "The Boeing Story," which opened to the public on June 18.

A large portion of the new Red Barn exhibit recreates the active, original Boeing shop floor. Against a backdrop of partially built Model C and Model 40 fuselages, museum volunteers in period costume show visitors how biplanes were built. It also helps illustrate the amazing pace of technological advances during this period that began with planes made of wood and fabric and ended with streamlined all-metal designs.

The exhibit also features some of Boeing's notable people, such as the first engineer hired by Boeing—Wong Tsu, who went on to be an aviation pioneer in China—as well as Claire Egtvedt and Philip Johnson, two young engineers hired by Bill Boeing. Each would eventually become Boeing's successors and carry his pioneering spirit into the Space Age.

Rare loaned artifacts from The Boeing Company's Archives will be displayed alongside items from the Museum of Flight's own collection. Highlights include the famous mail bag carried in 1919 by Bill Boeing and Eddie Hubbard during the first international U.S. Air Mail flight from Vancouver, B.C., to Seattle, and a small wooden fragment—the only piece known to exist from one of Boeing's first two aircraft. Also on view is never-before-shown film footage of Bill Boeing from the 1920s.

For more information, visit the Museum of Flight's Web site: www.museumofflight.org.



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