For displaced, misplaced, and nostalgic ex-Bronxites

Model airplane dope

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Posted by Happy on Friday, June 28th 2019:

As kids in the Bronx in the thirties, my cousin and I would put together airplane models – the “solid” kind you shaped from a block and a sheet of balsa, and the “flying” kind that you put together with balsa sticks to make the sides and tops of the fuselage, and pre-cut wing and tail sections that went together the same way. When the skeleton was glued together with “airplane” glue, you covered it with a silk-like paper (or maybe it was paper-like silk) and something we called “dope” and wound up a rubber band powered prop to make it fly (maybe). In describing this process to my GGCs today, the question arose as to what was the “dope” we put on the tissue to make it firm up. I'd heard it called “banana oil” but haven't a clue as to what it was. Anyone know? Always bought my stuff from Gamow's on Jerome Avenue south of Fordham....wish I could go back and ask the guy there who knew EVERYTHING.

Reference ID: BX87168


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