Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

The day everything changed

On Jan. 3, 1967, Boeing's Everett factory opened for business

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Pinterest icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Michelle Dunlop
Herald Writer
Published:
  • As the first Boeing Co. employees arrived in Everett in January 1967, construction workers raced to finish the factory for the 747. Most of the parkin...

    As the first Boeing Co. employees arrived in Everett in January 1967, construction workers raced to finish the factory for the 747. Most of the parking area was unpaved, creating a muddy mess during the unusually wet winter of 1967. Here is an aerial view of the Boeing Everett plant on Jan. 19, 1967.

EVERETT - For the rest of the world, it was another workday after a long holiday weekend.
The death of Jack Ruby, who gunned down President. Kennedy's alleged assassin, topped most newspapers that day. Purdue defeated USC in the Rose Bowl. And newspapers reported record profits from 1966.
For the city of Everett and the residents of Snohomish County, Jan. 3, 1967,was the first day of a new way of life here.
After just less than a year of anticipation, the Boeing Co.'s jumbo jet factory in Everett was open for business. On that day, Boeing workers came to Everett for the first time to do the same thing that company employees continue 40 years later: build airplanes.
"The inconveniences are going to be many," Bayne Lamb, facilities director for the 747, told the group that day. "You'll be wearing hard hats and overcoats for some time."
Those first workers didn't find 42 acres of factory and 20,000 paved parking spaces. Instead, they arrived at a partially finished factory, where plastic tarps helped protect workers from Mother Nature.
The factory wouldn't be completed until April 1968. In the meantime, the group known as the Incredibles began building the first 747 while construction crews scrambled to finish the factory they worked in.
"It was cold," said Larry Hansen, a retired 32-year employee of Boeing. "There was no heat in the building yet. It was almost like being outside."
Outside wasn't pleasant. The next two days of Herald headlines previewed what was to be a tough winter: "First snow hits city" and "Heavy snow hits area."
The number of employees who showed up on Jan. 3, 1967, pales in comparison to the roughly 25,000 men and women who work in the Everett facility. About 113 people reported in. But, like everything else about Boeing's plant here, those figures just grew.
"We were adding people almost every day," Hansen said.
Five hundred workers were expected in Everett by the end of January 1967. The group would swell in size to roughly 50,000 over the next two years.
"If we could look 20 to 50 years ahead, it would be interesting to see what kind of products we'll roll across these floors," Malcom Stamper, the original site manager for Boeing, told the group 40 years ago.
Since that day, more than 2,900 planes have been built in Everett.
As Stamper could have guessed, not all of those planes were 747s. Boeing workers in Everett have devised and produced two additional jets, the 767 and 777, and anxiously await a third, the 787, which they will roll across Stamper's floors in 2007.

Related

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup