A piece of business history today: Boeing’s Plant 2 is being torn down. In contrast to the even older (and no longer extant) Plant 1, which was essentially a hand-assembly shed for biplanes, Plant 2 was a massive facility that produced some of the most significant aircraft of World War II, including the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-29 Superfortress — the class of planes best known for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Along with other plants of its type around the United States, Plant 2 employed thousands of women during the war, helping generate the cultural icon “Rosie the Riveter“, and (at least temporarily) spurring the women’s movement.
All’s well that ends well. The site on which the plant now stands will be restored and turned into 5 acres of wetlands, and will henceforth produce ducks instead of bombers.