Doctor of Design (DDes)


College Art and Design

Document Type




Throughout 2024, many European countries, as well as the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic territories and Far Eastern nations, are observing the 79th anniversary of the conclusion to the Second World War (1939-1945). Various United States and international history museums will conduct podcasts and virtual conferences, and there will be educational exhibitions and other programs focusing on this era. Military history enthusiasts will debate which combat function was the dominant factor responsible for the Allied victory in this war: was it air force power, land infantry tactics, or the ships of the high seas? Aviation history enthusiasts will more than likely endorse the airplane bombing campaigns as the most instrumental component in winning this conflict. Whether this is true or not may be endlessly debated, but what is undisputed is the marvel of how components of metal, rivets, engines, cockpit controls, and machine guns were manufactured into the flying machines that contributed to the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers. The world-renowned automobile industrialist Henry Ford and his son Edsel became key participants in this endeavor as a home-front manufacturing and production force. These two men were primarily responsible for transforming the Ford Motor Company’s automotive manufacturing prowess into that of a major military equipment supplier within President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Arsenal of Democracy” initiative. Part of this task included Ford Motor Company’s participation in building the world’s largest aircraft factory to begin manufacturing the Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber airplane. This endeavor required Ford to hire hundreds of engineers and draftsmen to design the tooling and dies required to manufacture raw metal into components the factory would assemble into an aeronautical machine for the U.S. and Allied military forces. To aeronautical history aficionados these seldom 1 examined circumstances and events will provide a narrative worthy of attention, exposing the trials and tribulations of how such an immense project eventually led to an efficacious conclusion, ultimately enhancing Henry and Edsel Ford’s aviation manufacturing legacy.



Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Desmond

Available for download on Wednesday, April 02, 2031