A Boeing Model C awaits flight in Boeing's Lake Union boathouse in Seattle.
A Boeing Model C awaits flight in Boeing's Lake Union boathouse in Seattle. 1917.© 2015 The Boeing Company, from Higher: 100 Years of Boeing published by Chronicle Books LLC
A Boeing Model C awaits flight in Boeing's Lake Union boathouse in Seattle.
Boeing Factory Workers Sewing a MB-3A Wing
Passengers pose in front of the Model 80, built by Boeing Air Transport.
Boeing Model 247D in Flight over New York City
Overview of B-17 Flying Fortress Manufacturing
P-51D Mustang in Flight
Dash 80 707 Prototype Rollout
First 737-100 in Factory
A Boeing Model C awaits flight in Boeing's Lake Union boathouse in Seattle. 1917.
© 2015 The Boeing Company, from Higher: 100 Years of Boeing
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See Incredible Photos of Vintage Airplanes

Jul 29, 2015

It was only about a decade after the Wright Brothers' first flight that Bill Boeing, who was in the timber business in Seattle, decided to learn how to fly planes. After he ordered a plane of his own, Boeing decided the design left room for to be improved upon. So he did. In 1934, TIME called him "a hard-headed industrialist who turned to flying as a hobby, began making airplanes as a whim and ended up by giving the world a new standard of aircraft performance."

The eponymous company he founded in 1916 has been part of nearly every step of the aviation industry's evolution, from wood-and-canvas contraptions to the jets of the modern age.

100 Years of Boeing Chronicle Books

In a new book, Higher: 100 Years of Boeing, by Russ Banham (available Aug. 4), 200 photos—mostly from Boeing's company archives—are used to trace that history, and all of the pit-stops in between.

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