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Howard Hughes and His Erotic Love Affair – With Wood

The Spruce Goose built by The Hughes Corporation was one of the Largest aircraft ever built. And it was made almost entirely from wood.


Think of any product, and I’ll bet you somebody, somewhere, somehow, in some country, has had a go at making it out of wood. But even if some lunatic really did try and make a wooden iron, it’s only because wood is such a beautiful natural product, you can’t help but want to make things from it. Certainly anything of any major proportion has been made from wood. Planes, ships, houses, bridges, phones, shoes and oh, what about the thing you’re reading this on? Yes, even computers have been made from wood.

Howard Hughes in Cockpit of Spruce Goose

Sometime back in 1942, multi billionaire entrepreneur genius and OCD sufferer, Howard Hughes, decided to make the largest aircraft transporter the world had ever seen. It was designed to carry a couple of 30 tonne Sherman tanks, and a few pilots brave enough to fly the beast. This flying Titanic of a plane called ‘The Spruce Goose’ was made almost entirely out of wood. Can you imagine that? One of the largest planes ever built, made almost entirely from birch, was ready to scare the living daylights out of the Germans. That would have freaked them out. ‘Look Heinz, zer is unt flying tree’. Sadly it never saw active service as the Germans surrendered before Hughes had a chance to finish it. The Spruce Goose went into hiding for over thirty years, along with the elusive Howard Hughes, his OCD, his tangled love life, and his advancing insanity.

Kizhi-Pogost-Photos

As we’re on the subject of big, then let’s talk the Kizhi Pogost. The largest wooden building in the world, this Orthodox Russian Church is made entirely from wood, and I mean entirely from wood. Down to the last nuts and bolts. Everything. Not a single nail in sight. It’s a 32 metre tall, 150-year-old monument to architectural genius, and as nobody seems to know who the architect was, the praise is all down to the 10 or so Russian carpenters who, armed with little else but a couple of hammers, chisels, and a couple of gallons of Smirnoff, dedicated 10 years of their lives to building it.

There’s something truly wonderful about making things out of wood, which is why we love making wooden floors so much. It’s a passion that we all share in our company. There is not a day that goes by that we’re not trying something new in production. It may be the same finish we’ve done 100 times before that we’re trying to improve on, or a new design in miniature that we make especially for architects and designers for them to see before we make a full sized product. But we’re always doing something new with our design and finishes that we think is, well, just out there. Strangely, they never end up on our website, but we’re going to change all that soon.

So when some crazy designer comes along with a crazy idea for a crazy design on a wooden floor, they’re always a little taken aback when they bump into us.

‘You’re just not crazy enough.’