The Boeing Company is synonymous with twentieth century American technology and industry. From its humble start in a boathouse in Seattle, the Boeing Company has been a world leader in aviation history and the development of rockets and satellites.
William Boeing, a lumberman, started the company in 1916. The young Boeing combined his robust love of adventure with his knowledge of engineering, which he had learned at Yale. Boeing got his bug for airplanes in 1910, when he witnessed the first International Air Meet in Los Angeles. Boeing was mesmerized by French pilot, Louis Paulhan’s, daring acrobatics. This was less than seven years since the Wright Brothers first flew on December 17, 1903; a historic date that aviation enthusiasts learn at an early age.
Higher: 100 Years of Boeing is a truly handsome book for aviation historians, professional and enthusiasts alike. The book is equally a testament to American industry in the first half of the twentieth century. Boeing’s rise and several near-collapses are well documented in this handsome book. Russ Banham does a fine job of relating Boeing’s major historical contributions to aviation history and American culture. Perhaps most importantly, the author showcases Boeing’s integral relationship with American industry and the technologies that America has created, especially during the first half of the twentieth century.
The book chronicles Boeing’s beginning as the dream child of William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt, two very early aviation enthusiasts. The book ends with a look to Boeing’s future projects in aviation and satellite technology.
Along with many glossy photographs, the book delves into the history of the marvelous aircrafts that Boeing has produced. This is the highlight of the book, as one expects from this type of history book. In addition, the author also explores Boeing’s hardship through the years, in lieu of government regulations, financial and oil crisis of one kind or another.
The author enables the reader to realize that commercial aviation is much more than just airplanes. Instead, it is a visible reminder of man’s perennial dream of flight and mobility, both physical and sociologically. The alert reader is treated to a greater appreciation of the perils that visionaries, whether in industry, engineering or creative design, face when attempting to build the machinery and technology that has come to symbolize the modern world.