When Charles A. Lindbergh returned to the U.S. from Europe in 1939, on on the eve of World War II, he was worried that engine developments in England and Germany were a threat to America. Lindbergh chaired a Special Committee on Aeronautical Research Facilities, which recommended building a new engine research laboratory near the aircraft engine companies. Meanwhile, the National Air Races had been held in Cleveland throughout the 1930s, at Lewis Field.
That led to the establishment of the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Cleveland, Ohio. Much of spaceflight history is rooted in aviation history. The facility is now known as NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.
In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, machinists and toolmakers use precision machinery to make experimental engine parts at the facility on July 9, 1946.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).