Most of us have a “junk drawer” that contains, among other oddments, stray keys. Restoration specialists working on the Douglas World Cruiser “Chicago” recently found two such strays in the aircraft:
Since the “church key” (can opener) was found on top of the engine, it was probably used to open oil cans rather than refreshments for the pilots. The skeleton key is more mysterious. Restoration specialist Will Lee, who found it in the seat of the rear cockpit, reports that it was pristine but unmarked. So, if your house predates the 1924 flight, have you been wondering where one of your keys is? We might have it!
Anne McCombs is a restoration specialist in the Collections Division of the National Air and Space Museum.