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This historical comparison of the Vickers and Alcoa experiences with “borrowed” German airship technology highlights the importance of studying the way industrial R&D has been organized, both within industries and inside individual companies. Professor Graham shows that Alcoa's move in 1919 to organize its corporate Technical Department to include balanced research and development capabilities allowed it not only to appropriate Duralumin technology, but also to build on that technology so that it could be used to supply the infant U.S. airframe industry. Lacking such integrated R&D at the corporate level, Vickers obtained only short–term financial returns on its investment in Duralumin expertise. This article suggests that the differences in exploitation of high–strength aluminum derived partly from different national climates for R&D in the United States and England after the First World War.