Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Surly dropped off a back issue of FFJournal that had an article about Midwest Aero Restorations for me to take a look at. The article is mostly about the company restoring a P-51 Mustang and what all is involved in making a plane like this not only flight worthy again but looking exactly as it did originally. Pretty interesting article. I love all that aluminum work that goes into one of those restorations. The link has lots of photos of Midwest Aero's restoration work. Midwest Aero is located in Danville, Illinois, by the way.

Just so happens I used to live just across the state line from Danville when I was a young-un. My dad worked in Danville at Bohn Aluminum for about a year. Bohn Aluminum was in Hammond, Indiana, where Pops was born and raised, and moved to Danville in 1956. We moved down that way at the same time. I never realized what exactly Bohn made, being only six years old at the time, but I remember they had a corporate softball team and Pops pitching for them.

Both photos are from The Old Motor which has two entries about the Bohn Corporation. The Indy car has cylinder heads cast from Bohn aluminum according to the site. I'm not sure what all they did at the Danville plant but Surly has a tool box Pops had made up from crinkle finish aluminum sheet when he worked there.

Since Danville is about two hours away from here, I think I might take a bike ride down that way come spring time. Check out Midwest Aero Restorations and run back across the state line and buzz through my old hometown.


Surly said...

I didn't realize he worked at Bohn when he made the toolbox. I assumed it was from Combustion. Neat. I still have yet to clean that thing up but at least I saved it from the barn.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Combustion used to be Superheater - made superheaters for boilers. Since it was a pipe shop, he managed to get a heavy duty swingset made there and a self propelled reel mower made into a riding mower. The little turtle foot stool from when he worked at the furniture place in Hammond. Cabinets and vanity top from Mar-Bel. Maybe not the king of government jobs, but part of the royal family.

Toolbox is about 59 years old - should be able to make 100. There were some Bohn emblems around for a long time. Be nice to have one and rivet it onto the toolbox.

Surly said...

I'm all over that...