Inspiring a Nation to Take War to the Skies

During World War II, President Roosevelt declared that America would manufacture 185,000 military aircraft in 1942 and 1943. To illustrate and inspire the effort, 4,500 model airplanes were hung spectacularly from the ceiling of Union Station in Chicago.

The planes were hung 60 feet from the station floor, creating a dazzling tessellated representation of the manufacturing effort that lay ahead. This photograph of the planes appeared famously in the September 17, 1942 issue of Life magazine. [Longstreet via Notcot]