The B & W was the first Boeing product, named after the initials of its designers, William Boeing and Navy Lt. Conrad Westervelt. The first B & W, completed in June 1916, was made of wood, linen and wire. Similar to the Martin trainer that Boeing owned, the B & W had, among other improvements, better pontoons and a more powerful engine. The two B & Ws were offered to the U.S. Navy. When the Navy did not buy them, they were sold to the New Zealand Flying School and became the company’s first international sale. The B & Ws later were used for New Zealand express and airmail deliveries, set a New Zealand altitude record of 6,500 feet on June 25, 1919, and made that country’s first official airmail flight on Dec. 16, 1919.

The B & W was the first Boeing product, named after the initials of its designers, William Boeing and Navy Lt. Conrad Westervelt. The first B & W, completed in June 1916, was made of wood, linen and wire. Similar to the Martin trainer that Boeing owned, the B & W had, among other improvements, better pontoons and a more powerful engine. The two B & Ws were offered to the U.S. Navy. When the Navy did not buy them, they were sold to the New Zealand Flying School and became the company’s first international sale. The B & Ws later were used for New Zealand express and airmail deliveries, set a New Zealand altitude record of 6,500 feet on June 25, 1919, and made that country’s first official airmail flight on Dec. 16, 1919.

Daily Herald special report: Boeing’s 100 years

The Boeing Co. is turning 100 on July 15. Throughout the year, The Daily Herald is covering the people, airplanes and moments that define The Boeing Century. Some of these stories are from a special print report distributed on July 8, 2016.

Friday, July 8

Seven big moments that shaped the future of Boeing

Aerospace-industry mavens discuss Boeing’s next 100 years

Saturday, July 9

From roots in Seattle, Boeing has spread to far-flung sites

Mergers and buys expanded Boeing’s business beyond planes

Sunday, July 10

Scrappy at first, Boeing grew into a company built to last

To the moon: Boeing’s expertise boosted U.S. into space

Monday, July 11

In the early years, warplanes kept Boeing cruising

A car, a space plane … Boeing ideas that didn’t pan out

Tuesday, July 12

For Boeing families, company history is theirs, too

Boeing workers were ‘part of something remarkable’

Wednesday, July 13

Design firm pioneers virtual-reality tours of Boeing jets

Jetmakers eager to break Boeing’s grip on commercial market

Thursday, July 14

Boeing’s influence is felt in Washington and beyond

Data suggest aerospace tax breaks help attract suppliers

Local relationships with Boeing: many ups and downs

Friday, July 15

Boeing’s first 100 years: A timeline

Oso was site of Boeing’s only commercial-jet crash in state

Saturday, July 16

How Boeing’s labor relations have evolved

Renton has shared in Boeing’s highs and lows

Sunday, July 17

Wild ideas today may be Boeing aircraft tomorrow


A MESSAGE FROM SOUND PUBLISHING INC.

By Gloria Fletcher

President and CEO

Happy anniversary and congratulations to the Boeing Co.! Sound Publishing Inc., with its 49 community newspapers and websites, joins with many Washington state businesses to recognize and celebrate the Boeing Co.’s 100th anniversary.

It is impossible to contemplate Boeing without thinking about the company’s Pacific Northwest roots. Founder Bill Boeing, who was drawn to Washington state’s timber industry, rode in his first airplane in 1915 over Lake Washington and had an early float-plane hangar on Seattle’s Lake Union.

It is equally impossible to look around the Puget Sound region without seeing the many ways Boeing has fueled and shaped the places we call home. Today, more than 130,000 highly skilled workers are employed by 1,300 aerospace-related firms throughout the state, producing some of the world’s best-known and well-respected products and services.

As the company and the region have grown together, Boeing’s impact has stretched far beyond the economic and employment statistics. The company made its first donation to the University of Washington in 1917, helping start an aeronautical engineering program, and throughout its existence, has been a generous source of gifts and investments in our region’s educational, cultural and charitable institutions.

During its first 100 years, the Boeing Co. encountered its share of bumpy air. Fluctuations in the national economy, competition in the aeronautics industry, and inconstant political and military policies all challenged the company’s resilience. It certainly hasn’t always been easy for the behemoth company, yet Boeing has seemingly met each challenge with as much knowledge, experience and grace as possible.

Looking toward its next century, the company continues to trust its future to innovation. This has always been the Boeing way, from the first factory in a Duwamish River shipyard to the recently opened composite-wing assembly center in Everett. The ripple effect of Boeing innovation has brought hundreds of high-tech air-and-space companies to the Pacific Northwest.

Businesses and institutions in Washington state have been fortunate to have the Boeing Co. as a community partner. Sound Publishing knows the cities and communities it serves are strong, smart and prosperous places thanks to the contributions Boeing has made for 100 years.

For that, we say thank you!

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