Roberts Cathedral Cruiser
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
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
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.