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Gibson Contribution To War Effort In World War Two...


Murph

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I thought the old Kalamazoo factory was now occupied by Heritage guitars, founded when Gibson moved it operations down to Nashville.  And I believe Heritage still uses the old place.  Run by those Gibson craftsmen who couldn't or wouldn't move to Nashville.

But an interesting article.  I've heard about Gibson's contributions to the WWII effort.  The article also reminded me that there was once a company that built home appliances in nearby Belding, MI .  It was once under a different name until a man named Frank Gibson, who I'm not sure was or was not related to anyone connected to Gibson guitars.  But the other Gibson Co. built;

                                                                   0b89ae67dc509db7a50a1f57de2d3876--ladies

 

And

                                                                                                       zkg7145.jpg

Whitefang

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Those gliders were crucial to the D-day invasion.

Both my mother and father served in the army - that is where they met - she was his driver.

I hope and wish younger people today can understand that an entire generation gave up their careers, futures and in many cases their lives in order that the whole world, not just Europe, had a future.

There could have never been the freedom we now take for granted (nor any rock n' roll!)  without all of those people.

Edited by jdgm
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2 hours ago, Whitefang said:

I thought the old Kalamazoo factory was now occupied by Heritage guitars, founded when Gibson moved it operations down to Nashville.  And I believe Heritage still uses the old place.  Run by those Gibson craftsmen who couldn't or wouldn't move to Nashville.

But an interesting article.  I've heard about Gibson's contributions to the WWII effort.  The article also reminded me that there was once a company that built home appliances in nearby Belding, MI .  It was once under a different name until a man named Frank Gibson, who I'm not sure was or was not related to anyone connected to Gibson guitars.  But the other Gibson Co. built;

                                                                   0b89ae67dc509db7a50a1f57de2d3876--ladies

 

And

                                                                                                       zkg7145.jpg

Whitefang

What do you tune an oven and washer and dryer too?

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2 hours ago, Whitefang said:

I thought the old Kalamazoo factory was now occupied by Heritage guitars, founded when Gibson moved it operations down to Nashville.  And I believe Heritage still uses the old place.  Run by those Gibson craftsmen who couldn't or wouldn't move to Nashville.

But an interesting article.  I've heard about Gibson's contributions to the WWII effort.  The article also reminded me that there was once a company that built home appliances in nearby Belding, MI .  It was once under a different name until a man named Frank Gibson, who I'm not sure was or was not related to anyone connected to Gibson guitars.  But the other Gibson Co. built;

                                                                   0b89ae67dc509db7a50a1f57de2d3876--ladies

 

And

                                                                                                       zkg7145.jpg

Whitefang

Yep, the address is Parsons 225. 

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59 minutes ago, jdgm said:

Those gliders were crucial to the D-day invasion.

Both my mother and father served in the army - that is where they met - she was his driver.

I hope and wish younger people today can understand that an entire generation gave up their careers, futures and in many cases their lives in order that the whole world, not just Europe, had a future.

There could have never been the freedom we now take for granted (nor any rock n' roll!)  without all of those people.

 

Indeed.

And the fact that some of those companies knew they, too, would have no future if things went the wrong way.

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2 hours ago, OrdinaryNimda said:

Big applause for Gibson, looks like quite a few items made.
The airplane skids were probably mahogany or maple? 

The tops were either Sitka or Englewood Spruce, and the sides and bottoms were either Mahogany or Rosewood.

Naturally.

RBSinTo

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7 hours ago, Murph said:

Very cool article.

When it's time to pull together, we did...

Gibson Guitar in World War Two (usautoindustryworldwartwo.com)

Just to be clear, any company or industry that was deemed capable of converting from peace-time to military production by the War Production Board was obligated by law to do so.

Gibson and everyone else didn't do so because of any great streak of patriotism on their part. They were obligated by law to do so.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Feature-Stories/story/Article/2128446/during-wwii-industries-transitioned-from-peacetime-to-wartime-production/

RBSinTo

 

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17 hours ago, RBSinTo said:

Just to be clear, any company or industry that was deemed capable of converting from peace-time to military production by the War Production Board was obligated by law to do so.

Gibson and everyone else didn't do so because of any great streak of patriotism on their part. They were obligated by law to do so.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Feature-Stories/story/Article/2128446/during-wwii-industries-transitioned-from-peacetime-to-wartime-production/

RBSinTo

 

I don’t think we did it. I think the people that were alive and around back then and took an active part in the War Effort - they did it.

We - meaning me was not alive back then.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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20 hours ago, OrdinaryNimda said:

Big applause for Gibson, looks like quite a few items made.
The airplane skids were probably mahogany or maple? 

It was Kismet.  How many times did Gibson hit the skids since then?  [wink]

1 hour ago, Murph said:

 

I think they quit making baseball bats out of ash?

Seems like I heard that somewhere.

There is the preponderance of a particular beetle that threatens the large areas of Ash tree groves.  I think most bats now are made of Maple.

47 minutes ago, ghost_of_fl said:

These days, most pro hockey players use carbon fiber/plastic resin sticks.   Apparently the light weight is worth it, even though those sticks tend to shatter on impact sometimes.   Good thing they never approved aluminum bats for baseball. 

Past Montreal and Red Wing player Mickey Redmond, who does the "color" for Detroit red Wing games still often refers to the sticks as "lumber".  Probably more out of habit.

And I never liked the sound of a ball being hit by an aluminum bat.  Doesn't sound "natural".  [wink]

Whitefang

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  • 6 months later...
On 1/3/2023 at 5:59 PM, Whitefang said:

I thought the old Kalamazoo factory was now occupied by Heritage guitars, founded when Gibson moved it operations down to Nashville.  And I believe Heritage still uses the old place.  Run by those Gibson craftsmen who couldn't or wouldn't move to Nashville.

But an interesting article.  I've heard about Gibson's contributions to the WWII effort.  The article also reminded me that there was once a company that built home appliances in nearby Belding, MI .  It was once under a different name until a man named Frank Gibson, who I'm not sure was or was not related to anyone connected to Gibson guitars.  But the other Gibson Co. built;

                                                                   0b89ae67dc509db7a50a1f57de2d3876--ladies

 

And
During the war, Gibson ceased making guitars and began making military products. It became a supplier of various components to the army, including radios and navigation systems. I'm just interested in the history of the warrior, I recently studied war of 1812, found https://papersowl.com/examples/war-of-1812/ for this. This important contribution to the war effort helped the Allies during the conflict. After the war, the company returned to making guitars and its legacy continues to this day. The craftsmen who worked in the old Kalamazoo factory created Heritage Guitars with the spirit and quality of Gibson guitars.

                                                                                                       zkg7145.jpg

Whitefang

Gibson has not only a significant contribution to the world of guitars, but also an interesting history of connection with the Second World War.

Edited by Erin_Jacob
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Stories vary a lot by company and how things came about.  My father worked for Culligan Zeolite company when the war started.  The army needed silica gel to pack metal parts being shipped overseas so they wouldn't rust and corrode.  Someone from the army called the owner of Culligan and asked if they could make silica gel.  Mr. Culligan said "sure we can".  So the army said mix up a sample, get it down here to Washington, and if it passes our tests we will award you a large contract to make it.  Mr. Culligan got off the phone, went into the lab and asked the chemist "what is silica gel?"  They mixed up a batch by hand, drying it in pie plates on the railing of the back stairs in the sun - they won the contract and went into large scale production.

They didn't do it because the government mandated it, or out of some great sense of patriotism but because with the war on business was bad and this was a way to stay in business.  They did a good job with the silica gel and eventually were awarded a contract to make fuse bodies for bombs.  Culligan was also awarded the Army/Navy E - it was not uncommon.  Look at the list of companies that received them, thousands.  Almost everyone was involved in the war effort or the production of food.  Gibson didn't do anything outstanding that everyone else wasn't doing.

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