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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Uber Boston: 1936

Uber Boston: 1936

"The Hindenburg over Boston Common, 1936." Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of the German airship's explosion at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Medium format acetate negative by Leslie Jones. Boston Public Library. View full size.

The Concorde in more than one way

The Concorde in more than one way:

  • It never made a profit.
  • It was run on huge subsidies, solely as a prestige project.
  • Nobody really needed it.
  • As a solution to a technical problem, when it became kind of technically feasible, it was already outdated. The Boeing 314 was introduced in 1939, and a number of other flying boats also had the necessary legs (ah, range) by then. The remaining shortcomings (weather forecast, lack of navigational aids) applied to either.
  • The service was kept up until there were fatalities.

And ve Germans hav to hand it to you Americans, yours were just as big ;-)

USS Macon (ZRS-5) 784ft 1in / 132ft 10in / 6,500,000cuft
USS Akron (ZRS-4) 785ft / 132ft / 6in / 6,500,000cuft

More photos

More photos from inside the "HINDENBURG."

("einestages" is part of the german weekly newspaper "DER SPIEGEL.")

It'd Better Be Elegant

According to the blog Airships.net, the 36 passengers aboard the final flight were paying $450 for the experience. In today's money: $7,300. First class passage aboard ocean liners of the day was $150, or $2,430 today.

Of course it WAS a lot faster; 2 days (fastest time was 43 hours, 2 minutes) compared to 5 days for the swiftest ocean liners and up to 10 days for standard crossings.

Sort of Big?

It was as large as (3) 747s, not (6).

In person

My great aunt and uncle were arriving at the air field to watch the landing just as the Hindenburg burst into flame. They lived nearby at the time.

Airship Awe

As a kid growing up in Indianapolis, we were favored with many Goodyear blimp flyovers each May as part of the Indy 500 race. Back then they would fly very low, I guess at the 500 ft level that was a minimum altitude for aircraft (I think).

We thought they were huge and it was so cool to see the occupants waving as they lumbered overhead. We'd hear them coming and all run outdoors to watch them. If it was dusk we'd be waving our flashlights as they flashed their signboard messages for us.

And to think the Hindenburg was 6 times as big! Wow!

I saw it too

In 1936, (when I was 10), my father came home from work one day and told me to look up in the sky. Over our Northwest D.C. home (almost to the Maryland State line) floated the Hindenburg - absolutely spectacular. The swastikas didn't mean any thing to me then.

More nice pictures

Check this out for more beautiful Hindenburg pictures. Also of the interior.

It is creepy

Root 66, my first reaction when seeing the picture was the same. It was creepy.

The Hindenburg was a tremendous propaganda tool, naturally, and as soon as Hitler could - after becoming chancellor - he slapped big swastikas on it.

Sort of BIG

803 feet long, 135 feet diameter, contained 7,062,000 cubic feet of gas, cruised at 76 mph, longer than 6-747's.
Lasted one year.

The Concorde of its day

This was considered a very elegant way to travel at the time. Everything was top-notch. I find it disturbingly creepy, however, to see those swastikas flying over the U.S.!

 
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