The discussion at work this morning was all about tooling, which in no way sounded or looked anything like the above wall of tools. Pictured is a subset of the tools, about a third of them in all, from the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY. [Hammondsport is obviously a conjunction, but is it the conjunction of Hammond and sport or is it Hammonds and port?] Nestled in a backroom of this eclectic museum is the woodworking shop. In this shop volunteer craftsmen both build accurate reproductions and restore historical artifacts to their original luster.
A second shop, a metal shop, is located behind the wood shop in an outbuilding and is presently consumed with the restoration of a P-40 Tomahawk. This WW II era plane is most likely the signature aircraft type in the Curtiss line. In 1940 it was most famously piloted in China by the expat American group the Flying Tigers, in their war against the Japanese. Below is pictured the airplane, which still shows the pale ghostly outline of the plane’s characteristic shark’s jaw paint scheme. This is one of two Tomahawks that collided in midair towards the end of WWII and then sat in a Florida swamp for over forty years until both specimens were purchased by the museum. Now they are trying to take the best from each, plus liberally adding newly manufactured replacement parts, in order to reconstruct one bird for static display only. Neither the crash nor the years of neglect have been kind, so there is a lot of work yet to do. The older gentleman who was working on it when we visited asked me if I thought that he would see it finished. I think that he already knew the answer to that question when he asked it. “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” – Greek proverb