seven-drawer toolbox, c. 1934
Gift of Paul C. Neuenkirk Jr.
This toolbox and its contents were used by Paul C. Neuenkirk Sr. in the airplane division of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation in St. Louis, and later by his son Paul Jr. at McDonnell Douglas.
Paul C. Neuenkirk Sr. was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on October 11, 1917 and moved to Chicago as a teenager, where he graduated from Crane Technical High School. He arrived in St. Louis with his family in 1935, where he worked as a mechanic at enterprises such as Bux X'ograph and American Stove.
Paul Sr. was unable to join active service in World War II as a pilot trainee, so he applied his technical experience to support the war effort at Curtiss-Wright. He worked as a mechanic and foreman in the plant until 1944 and shaped the metal skins of military aircraft such as the A-25 Helldiver. To bring the plane from an engineering drawing to reality, Paul required precise hand measurements and adjustments. He purchased, and in some cases made himself, the tools he needed.
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