View Full Version : Paragon's Jenny prop

07-24-2008, 11:13 AM
Been wanting to show this around and see what you all think...

The prop was found way up in the garage of a friend. He was an old WW2 L4 pilot and had gotten this prop from the owner of a bar many years ago who owed him a debt. The prop had been in his garage for years when he gave it to me. It was covered in dust, cobwebs, and bird and insect poop. The wood was very dry and cracked. I cleaned it carefully with water and dish soap and a soft bristle brush, dried it thoroughly with cotton towels, then oiled it with linseed oil. Probably make some of you gasp but wanted to make it presentable. Im thinking of mounting it on the wall thru the hub holes in the garage above the dart board. The bar owner had mounted it apparently by simply drilling bolt holes thru the prop blades. What do you think?




Bob Gardner
08-12-2008, 07:29 AM
Belated thanks for posting the photograph of your prop. It is an excellent example in fine original condition. I have copied your photos in case I ever get round to writing a book on American early props. (I'm a bit inhibited by Bahnson and Lamar).

With regards,


08-12-2008, 07:46 AM
Personally, I think the linseed oil is a good idea, and apparently endorsed by antique people as an acceptable method of preservation.

I've had several of that model and have kept this one (http://www.woodenpropeller.com/Curtiss_Jenny.html) in my collection. This particular model seems to have been way overproduced by Paragon. I ran across an aviation publication from the twenties where they were for sale for $3 ($4 with the brass sheathing).

Bob Gardner
08-12-2008, 08:16 AM
Yes; the numbers of surviving props is often odd. Equal numbers of Sopwith Camel and SE5 props were made (broadly speaking around 5000) and yet Camel props are rare and SE5 props comparatively common. A possible answer is that the Sopwith Camel was a private venture (and therefore Sopwith were careful with their money) whereas the SE5 was built by the Government who probably placed vast contracts for props.

I have made some very provisional guesses at the ratio of props to aircraft, taking into account numbers held in the pipeline at Sqn level, at second line and third line and so on back to stores held in Britain.

The answers seem to be about 30:1 although one calculation indicated 10:1. As a guide, I have seen one comment in a log book that one pilot broke three props in a single week. The ratios would have been skewed by the end of the war, when operations stopped abruptly and unexpectedly but contracts would have continued for some time.


08-12-2008, 04:24 PM
Thanks for the replies fellas. I was hoping I didnt screw anything up with the cleaning and linseed oil. The prop hasnt cracked any further from the drying out when I cleaned it which makes me feel better...phew.

Interesting tidbits about the prop, thanks. I looked at this websites' ideas for mounting and Im going to do that; thru the hub holes. With the bolt holes in the blades and various cracks, just out of curiosity, what do you think this prop is worth?

Bob Gardner
08-12-2008, 04:37 PM
Dave Bahnson will advise on its value.

Having given it a dose of linseed oil, a monthly polish with pure beeswax polish will keep it in good condition and gradually add some colour to it.

With regards,