The world was a much different place when William Boeing started to build aeroplanes in a small boathouse along the shore of Seattle’s Lake Union in 1916. Flying machines were still a novelty. Most aviation records, such as altitude, distance and speed, were held by European aircraft manufacturers and pilots.
During the past 10 decades, Boeing and its heritage companies, such as Douglas Aircraft Co., McDonnell Aircraft Corp. and North American Aviation Inc., have designed and built a wide variety of aircraft. Boeing has evolved from seaplanes to space planes.