Drop hammer in Chula Vista park recalls history.

Those who visit Bay Boulevard Park in Chula Vista can’t miss it: a 12-foot tall steel contraption with the word ROHR written boldly upon it.

This relic from the past is a drop hammer. These innovative, gravity-powered metal presses were utilized by Rohr Aircraft Corporation in Chula Vista to mass produce aluminum airplane parts.

Frederick H. Rohr, who owned a sheet metal shop in San Diego in the 1920s, helped to create the fuel tanks for Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis. He later invented the drop hammer. In 1940 he founded Rohr Aircraft Corporation with the help of Reuben H. Fleet (who in 1961 would found the San Diego Air and Space Museum).

Rohr Aircraft Corporation would begin in Fred Rohr’s backyard, before operations moved into the San Diego wholesale district near the Western Metals Company, then finally in 1941 to its building in Chula Vista. Rohr’s drop hammers would be instrumental in producing the many aircraft that helped the Allies win World War II.

Today the public can see a bit of Chula Vista’s history when they regard the drop hammer in one corner of Bay Boulevard Park. Appropriately, it now stands footsteps from the location of the old Rohr factory buildings.

For the history of Rohr in Chula Vista, check out this website. For a collection of Rohr employee memories, click here. To see a loudly clanging drop hammer in action, click here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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