GE Made a Copper Man, and He Helped Bombardiers Fight WWII

But not as a metallo-robo-fighter.
GE

One thing about the American forces during World War II: they had our not-quite-as-globalized companies behind them, a fact that these corporations now like to highlight. 

Today, GE posted about their Copper Man, a dummy with a thin copper skin, which was used to test the heated flight suits that kept our men in the bombers warm until pressurized cabins of the B-29. 

The suits worked like electric blankets—wires running in-between layers of wool—and as the engineers worked to optimize the suit, they would try it out in a cold room in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. While human volunteers also participated in the experiments, the Copper Man had an electrical mesh on its "head, hands, torso, and feet" through which researchers could take readings on how the suit was performing. 

After the suits became unnecessary, GE took the technology and found a way to sell it to consumers in a postwar world: actual electric blankets. 

 

Presented by

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In