The Jesus Nut ® 2009
The Jesus Nut n : the castellated nut that secures the rotors on a helicopter.
1939 . . .
One of Igor Sikorsky’s mechanics was heard to say, “We better
pray to Jesus that nut holds the whole thing together!”
The nut did, in fact, hold the whole thing together and Sikorsky’s
first successful helicopter, the VS-300, flew that day. Ever since,
helicopter people have known that nut as “The Jesus Nut”.
1970s . . .
In the middle 1970s, the Jesus Nut became a part of my family. My
brother was a helicopter pilot in the Pacific during the Cold War.
He told our Mom that as long as his Jesus Nut was always
snugged down tight, he would be just fine. "Keep your Jesus Nut
screwed down tight" become an expressions of love, concern and
affection in our family, especially during trying times.
During one of those trying times, our Mom put a castellated nut on
a chain and sent it to me as a reminder that no matter how hard
things were, The Jesus Nut would hold the whole thing together.
My brother really liked the idea. He asked Mom if she could come
up with a Jesus Nut “something” for his squadron. It became one
of those “AHA!” moments.
So, at age 61, Mom embarked on her Jesus Nut business and the
miniature Jesus Nut was born. Mom had a piece of jewelry made
that could be worn as a pendant, used as a pocket piece or a key
fob. It became a personal reminder to “keep the faith”.
The 1980s and 1990s . . .
Little did any of us realize that the Jesus Nut jewelry would be worn
in all 50 states, in 30 foreign countries and travel to outer space
aboard the Space Shuttle. The Jesus Nut found it’s way to military
people, chopper pilots and mechanics, first responders,
rehabilitation centers, race car drivers, church groups ... and just
2002 . . .
At age 85, Mom signed the business over to me and The Jesus
Nut moved to the mountains of North Carolina.
Today . . .
My husband and I are continuing The Jesus Nut story from our
North Carolina mountaintop home.
In these precarious times, it represents the patriotism and
spirituality that we celebrate and strive to protect.
Keep the Faith,
Pat Moran McPhail