A City That Was Built Just To Hide Boeing Factory

A City That Was Built Just To Hide Boeing Factory

  • During World War II the US military teamed up with Hollywood set designers to disguise important wartime factories to fool enemy aircraft.
  • This particular “town” was actually built on the top of a Boeing factory – Plant 2 – in Seattle.
  • It was created with the vision of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer art director John Stewart Detlie, who began working on it in 1942.
  • Dubbed “Wonderland” by locals, this elaborate camouflage stretched across about 10 hectares, comprised of burlap, wire and a whole lot of fakery.
  • The effort cost somewhere around $US1 million in 1942, which would by roughly $18 million today.
  • Wonderland contained roughly 300 fake trees, constructed from chicken wire, tar and feathers – some of them standing at 3.5m tall.

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  • Wonderland had at least three major roads, with names such as Synthetic Street and Burlap Boulevard.
  • There were cars on the streets, but they were made of wood and barely cleared one metre in height.
  • Most of houses were empty inside – except for a safety sprinkler system – and stood at an average height of 1.2m.
  • Two homes were actually designed to be lived in – with the residents being soldiers manning anti-aircraft guns between 1942 and 1942.

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  • Factory employees worked in two shifts on assembly lines, pumping out planes for the war effort.
  • According to Boeing, employees were able to build an average of 12 B-17 planes every day.
  • Thankfully the factory never came under fire from enemy bombers.
  • Wonderland was eventually dismantled in 1946, with all materials sold for scrap or to members of the public.