Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dodge Chicago!

This is coolbert:

From several sources, the Dodge Chicago plant during the Second World War [WW2], manufacturing engines for the B-29 bomber [not the sole facility but the major and most important plant for such manufacture], the plant a wonderment in itself, a state-of-the-art facility the like of which had never been seen, dedicated to the war effort with the highest possible priority, a testament to American capabilities and industrial prowess NOT [?] to ever be repeated!

1. "Dodge Chicago Plant"

"The main building of the Dodge Chicago plant covered eighty-two acres and occupied over 30 city blocks and at the time it was the largest building in the world."

The Dodge Chicago plant, dedicated to the manufacture of the internal combustion radial engines as fitted to the B-29 bomber. A weapon system [B-29] absolutely vital to the war effort, the strategic bombardment of the Japanese home islands. As much money spent on the B-29 during the war years as was spent on the Manhattan Project [atomic bomb]!!

2. "The B-29 Superfortress: Dodge plays a major role"

"The B-29 Superfortress Bomber was used in the strategic bombing campaign of Japan . . . Each B-29 Superfortress utilized four of the massive Wright R-3350 - Cyclone 18 Cylinder 2,200 horsepower (1,600 kW) engines built at the Dodge Chicago Plant. There were nearly 4000 of these aircraft produced . . . Many first in industry took place here . . . The Dodge Chicago plant marked an all-time high water mark of cooperation and success between the efforts of the American government, industry, and labor."

That Dodge Chicago plant eminently successful, "an all-time high water mark" in many regards, unequaled, NOT surpassed, the collective effort admirable in the extreme, all obstacles and goals overcome with panache', the engineering effort monumental in nature, by modern standards impressive almost beyond belief.

And again, the sort of process, facility, and determined effort due to a varieties of factors NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN?

Dodge Chicago in the aftermath of the war going through several further incarnations and reincarnations, NOW a shopping mall - - Ford City!! Traces of the war effort still visible!!




Anonymous said...

For more info on the Chicago Dodge plant see "great planes and engines" Egan and "kilo-quad Tucker treasure" Kay. This was the same building where auto magnate Preston Tucker built his "car of the future"

Anonymous said...

To read the extraordinary Chicago Tribune feature by Jerome M. O'Connor describing the building and operation of Dodge-Chicago, go to The site has then and now photos of the plant including the still-existing one-time B-29 engine test stacks. Although converted into a shopping center in 1967, the vast original building still has the enormous tunnel system connecting all parts of the main engine assembly building.

Jerome O'Connor said...

For the most comprehensive analysis of how the Dodge Chicago factory operated go to It has both photos of the factory then and now as well as a detailed analysis of the production of 18,000 engines from base metals to fully tested and operating 18-cylinder, 2,200 horsepower supercharged engines. It is based on the Chicago Tribune feature by Jerome M. O'Connor.