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Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Arts in History



Major Advisor

Lisa Brady


During World War II Seattle transformed from a small city, heavily reliant on the timber industry, to an industrial center in the Pacific Northwest. The changes that occurred in the city between 1930 and 1950 have traditionally been attributed to a wartime expansion that affected the entire West, but the analysis neglects the impact of the city’s largest employer: Boeing Airplane Company. Boeing’s rise to power in the aviation industry during World War II, and continued success in the postwar period, drastically altered Seattle’s social and economic landscape. While the war contributed to Boeing’s growth, the company’s policies and talented engineers helped transform Seattle into the Emerald City.