Item Details

Designs for an "Umbrella Barrage Aerial Bomb"

n.d. [not after 1940]. Inscribed and signed "Read and understood, J.H. Payne, Sept. 12th, 1940." Payne appears to have been an interesting figure. Though difficult to confirm, it appears he was kicked out of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1932 for exposing the corrupt behavior of another engineer. Though his accusations were confirmed (the man jailed and $700K returned to the government), he was never readmitted to ASCE. Later, during WWII, Payne joined the airforce and was, at the time of this death Lead Navigator of the 100th Bombardment Group (Bloody Hundredth). Payne was killed in action on 28 April 1944 over Sottevast, France, and is buried at the Omaha Beach Cemetery.
These technical designs, for what appears not to be an HE bomb, but rather a for chemical weapons, are striking...both beautiful and dark. Art-Deco borders and technical drawings, typical of the period, the artist is unfortunately only identified by the monogram PRH and no other information has been located. The most visually compelling page is the third, which includes both a 'Profile of Barrage' and the rather lovely 'Pattern of Bursts'. A strange and unsettling juxtaposition of white snowflakes on blue ground, the aesthetic appeal of these technical designs betray the potentially horrific consequences. The pattern and 80 acre area of effect suggest strongly that this was a design for delivering chemical weapons. Very Good+. Minor shelf/edge wear, surface sheet lightly sunned, creases from folding, signed in lower right, else bright and clean. Three blueprints, paper stapled binding at top short edge. 17x20.75" Item #9260

Price: $2,500.00

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