1941 GM Parade of Progress
GM Futurliner Restoration Project
National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States

'33 World's Fair

1936 Parade
1938 Previews

1941 Parade
New Tent

1953 Parade
1954 Parade
Appreciation Letters
In-Line Six
Other Futurliners
Oral Roberts Cathedral Cruiser

Novel Tent for GM Science Show Seats 1,500

Erecting the huge "Aer-o-Dome," everything is bolted together except one end of each girt and its corresponding girder, forming the jointed tent ridge. This is a final manual operation after the remainder of the framework has been raised. Other photographs here show some of the various stages in the job of putting up this unique air-conditioned tent, which was designed especially for the Parade of Progress. The frame is transported between cities in a specially-constructed semi-trailer and tractor unit.

All except the girders and girts which form the rounded end sections are bolted together on the ground by the tent crew. More than 25,000 spot welds were required on the frame.

This powerful General Motors truck is being used to pull the cable that puts the framework of the tent into position. The Parade's staff comprises of about 50 young men.

Members of the tent crew lace the four large pieces together to form the huge "Aer-o-Dome" unit. It is then shaped by its pulleys to the standing rigging of the frame, as shown in the next photograph, taken as the huge silver covering was being pulled into position.

Erecting the huge tent is one of the numerous interesting activities of the Parade of Progress. The entire show was designed and constructed under the general supervision of GM Vice-President Charles F. Kettering, and is operated as a Public Relations field activity.
  This dramatic photograph was made as the erection of the framework for the tent was reaching the final stage. Several GM Parade of Progress employees are standing on one of the trucks used to transport the tent from city to city. As weather permits, this large traveling scientific show will move northward from its tour of the South.
    An earlier GM Parade of Progress toured the country for nearly five years, during which time performances were given in 208 cities to audiences totaling more than 9,500,000 persons.
    A tentative itinerary has been developed which will enable the new Parade of Progress to visit most other important cities of the United States during the next four years.
    The Parade of Progress "big top is unique. As shown on this page, mammoth girders supporting the tent are on the outside, machine-erected, while the tent material, a new synthetic "skin," is suspended inside from the metal framework. The effect is that of a silver dirigible-balloon hanger or a huge umbrella turned inside out.
    This tent seats 1,500 persons, all with unobstructed views of the "science circus" stage. There are no poles inside the tent, no outside guy lines or stakes. The weight of the metal frame holds the tent down. Colored fluorescent tubes illuminate the interior; the exterior is flood-lighted in color.
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