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25 August 2015


A woman working on an aeroplane propeller at Frederick Tibbenham Ltd in Ipswich. An article in the Ipswich Star about other WWI Frederick Tibbenham photographs commented: ‘The ladies in the photograph did not make the propellers but finished them off, applying brass to the leading edges and soldering over the screws. The large four-bladed prop was what was known as a test fan for engines. The smaller two-bladed ones were for smaller aircraft trainers. Tibbenham’s made all sizes of test fans and the apprentices finished these small ones, and every test fan had to be balanced. They were laminated in the joiner’s shop and were made out of Mahany Parana pine or birch from top class timber, all kiln dried. They were either finished off in the joiners’ shop or cabinet shop.’

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