What's inside those mechanized fighting vehicles?
See the insides of rifles, handguns, automatic weapons, etc.

In 1932, the time of this cutaway, this two-story Pullman berth intended to offer four rooms:  two up and two down.  Each room would have its own daybed, sink, and toilet.

The article implied that this arrangement was still in its testing phase, and that if it met “with favor,” the company would build more.

According to Rails West, this so-called duplex car was eventually built in large quantities.

Click to Enlarge to 631 x 634 px:

Two Story Pullman Rail Car 1930

Two Story Pullman Rail Car 1932

Source:  Popular Mechanics August 1932

When this cutaway first appeared, the intended structure was still called the International Music Hall, as part of Rockefeller Center, New York, NY.  Later, it became known as Radio City Music Hall.

Quite a juicy early Thirties two-color cutaway spread across two pages.  I tried my best to mate the two pages, and I got the top and bottom fine but the middle doesn’t meet up very well.

This is one cutaway that really needs to be seen in its full, blown-up grandeur, below.

Click to Enlarge to 1613 x 1045 px:

Radio City Music Hall Cutaway 1930

Radio City Music Hall Cutaway 1930


New York World's Fair 1939 Perisphere Cutaway

New York World’s Fair 1939 Perisphere Cutaway

The symbol and centerpiece of the 1939 New York World’s Fair was its combination trylon and perisphere.  The trylon was a 610 foot tall tower, whose bottom section provided entrance for the adjoining 190 foot diameter perisphere.

This circa 1938 cutaway was drawn prior to completion of the trylon and perisphere.  It shows how visitors would take escalators up through the trylon and be deposited on two “doughnut-shaped moving platforms,” as LIFE puts it, to watch a 6 minute show focusing on a futuristic, utopian City of Tomorrow.

Source: LIFE Aug 1, 1938


Click Here For Large (1353 x 1200 Pixels)


In an issue of LIFE magazine from October 30, 1939 that I have is a great cutaway drawing of Admiral Byrd’s snow cruiser.  Admiral Byrd was a naval officer who was the first person to reach the North and South Poles by air.

At 55 feet 8 inches long and 16 feet high, Byrd’s Snow Cruiser was intended to ply the snowy wastes of Antarctica at 30 mph max.  Snow crevasses would be surmounted by retracting the massive Goodyear front tires, sliding the front over the crevasse as if the cruiser were a sled (back wheels pushing).  Once the front was fully across, the back tires would retract and the front tires would pull the cruiser ahead.



Above, detail of cutaway of Byrd’s Snow Cruiser, showing operating room, engine room, and chart room.


Above, mounting snow chains to the approximately 10 foot diameter Goodyear tires.




PanAm Yankee Clipper Cutaway Drawing

PanAm Yankee Clipper Cutaway Drawing


This cutaway drawing shows the PanAm Yankee Clipper (B-314), which was built by Boeing on the base of an XB-15 bomber fuselage.  On December 21, 1937, Boeing delivered the first Yankee Clipper to PanAm.

The Yankee Clipper was the result of over 6,000 engineering drawings, 50,000 parts, and one-million rivets.  But with such complexity came problems.  First, it was the spark plugs.  Then Boeing discovered that when the plane was loaded light, it was no match for the admittedly weak winds blowing across South Lake Washington (Seattle, WA).

And when the test pilots got the B-314 up in the air, then had yet another problem.  As pilot Eddie Allen succinctly put it, “The plane won’t turn.”

But Boeing ironed out these wrinkles and eventually the Yankee Clipper became a graceful, reliable craft.  Each Clipper cost $668,908; needed 3,200 of clear waterway to take off; and weighed 84,000 pounds gross.

Boeing eventually stamped out six of these Clippers for PanAm.

Graf Hindenburg Cutaway

One of the best, and cheapest, books that I have ever had about the Hindenburg is called Hindenburg: an Illustrated History, by Rick Archbold, with paintings by Ken Marschall. The art is too beautiful to even talk about in this space. But because one interest of Invisible Themepark is cutaways, let’s look at one cutaway drawing of the “A” Deck of the Hindenburg.

The Hindenburg’s Cabins

On the “A” Deck were 25 passenger cabins that had two beds apiece, in bunk-like fashion. The walls between the cabins were fairly thin, just foam and a layer of fabric. The cabins could be quite noisy if you had a loud tenant in the adjoining room. Unlike the outer cabins in a cruise ship, none of these cabins in the Hindenburg had windows. The cabins were not a space where you spent a lot of time. Most time was spent in the more spacious public rooms.

Public Spaces:  Promenade, Dining, Lounge, and Reading Room

On either side of the “A” Deck were promenades where passengers could sit or stand while looking out at the angled windows to the ground or clouds moving below. On one side was the large six-table dining room, hardly the cramped, all-purpose public area found earlier in the Graf Zeppelin.

On the other side was another big lounge complete with an aluminum piano. Two men could easily move the piano because it was made of pigskin-covered aluminum and weighed less than 400 pounds. For a greater sense of quiet and peace, the reading and writing room provided a small library, two writing desks, a mailbox, and stationary.

The main thing that distinguished the Hindenburg’s public places from that of other airship: space.


A great airplane cutaway from Fortune Magazine 1936 (Large Size Image):

The revolutionary fact about the Martin is that more than half of its gross weight of 51,000 pounds is useful load, instead of about a third, which has hitherto been the limit.  In flying across an ocean useful load is the decisive factor, not only because vast quantities of fuel must be carried, but also because the requisite equipment is more elaborate than the equipment of land planes.  The Martin carries such things as an anchor and winch, lifeboat and belts, boat hook, bilge pump, and ropes, besides all the regular aeronautical equipment such as two radios, fire extinguishers, flares, and flying instruments.  In addition there is a galley complete with icebox, grill, sink, and dishes.

Looking inside the Popular Mechanics 1935 “Flying Boat”:


Welsh rarebit coming right up.  Note the ladder leading up to the wing.

Popular Mechanics airplane kitchen


The cover is sharp and crystal-clear.  It’s my scanner that blurred the picture.  A real-life bartender whipping up a gin gimlet for a guy in a suit.

Popular Mechanics airplane bar

Sleeping Quarters

Except for those bunk beds, which you are undoubtedly sharing with a stranger, a most civilized way to travel.

Popular Mechanics airplane sleeping quarters

I reproduce this Popular Mechanics cover of April 1935 in all of its ball-throbbing glory–because that is the only way to describe the muscularity of 1930s popular journalism.  There is nothing I don’t like about this cover.  I love the orange and blue contrast, the NRA Code logo in the bottom left, the typography, and most of all, the cutaway airplane.

Cutaways – you can get lost in them, imagining yourself inside.  Models, miniatures, cutaways – pretty much a lost art today.

I will pick apart this cutaway in separate posts.  See here to look further inside the Flying Boat airplane.

Popular Mechanics airplane