Balsa Wood Sky Streak
Includes 1 Sky Streak kit
“They don’t make them like they used to” is an often heard lament about most everything produced today, including toys. But there is a notable exception in the Balsa Wood glider world…the Paul K. Guillow Co. Many of the Guillow gliders and rubber band powered airplanes you can buy today are amazingly similar to those made in the 1950’s…not too surprising when you consider that some of the company’s balsa cutting and slicing machines are over 65 years old. The company was founded by Paul Guillow, a World War I Navy aviator. His war experience kindled an interest in aviation and eventually lead to the creation and marketing of a line of small balsa wood, shelf model construction kits of famous World War I combat aircraft. In 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh flew the “Spirit of St. Louis” from New York to Paris, France on the first successful solo flight across the Atlantic. National interest in all things aviation peaked. Paul found his model airplane kits in great demand. During WW II, most of the balsa wood was being diverted for military use in the production of rafts and life jackets, making it nearly impossible to acquire. Guillow served the war effort by supplying the armed forces with a number of drone aircraft to help U.S. gunners sharpen their skills. Post war prosperity and the new plastic models caused a decline in the “stick and tissue” business. With plummeting sales in the kit business, Guillow concentrated on producing inexpensive hand launched and rubber powered gliders. A dozen new gliders and rubber band powered planes were merchandised in a large variety of attractive displays to suit the needs of all customers from the “mom and pop” stores to the larger department stores.
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