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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Zeppelins & Blimps

Nine Lives: 1910

Nine Lives: 1910

October 1910, aboard the steamship Trent off Bermuda. "M. Vaniman and cat." Melvin Vaniman, first engineer aboard the hydrogen airship America, with the tabby cat mascot of their ill-fated attempt at the first air crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Sky King: 1923

Sky King: 1923

"Balloon, 1923." The fez wearers would seem to indicate a connection with the Shrine convention held in Washington in June 1923. View full size.

 

America: 1910

America: 1910

Oct. 15, 1910. "Wellman airship seen from Trent." Walter Wellman's hydrogen dirigible America just before being abandoned by its crew near Bermuda, 1,370 miles into an attempt to cross the Atlantic from New Jersey. Its engines having failed, the America drifted out of sight, never to be seen again. View full size.

 

Herbert Hover: 1929

Herbert Hover: 1929

Washington, D.C. Navy airship "Los Angeles" at the Hoover inauguration, March 1929. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

 

Army Balloon: 1918

Army Balloon: 1918

Vicinity of Washington, D.C. Army balloon circa 1918-1921. View full size. Glass negative from the National Photo Company Collection.

 

Anthony's Wireless Airship: 1912

Anthony's Wireless Airship: 1912

"Anthony's Wireless Airship." A small powered blimp used in 1912 to demonstrate remote control of aircraft by wireless telegraphy. ("Professor Anthony has exhibited a method of airship control of his own by wireless. He and Leo Stephens recently gave an exhibition of starting, controlling, turning and stopping an airship by wireless which was quite a long distance from the station which controlled its action.") View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

 

ZR-1: 1923

ZR-1: 1923

The Navy airship ZR-1 (USS Shenandoah) under construction in 1922-23 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey. The 680-foot, 36-ton zeppelin, the first rigid airship to use helium rather than hydrogen, broke up in a storm over Ohio in 1925 with a loss of 14 lives. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.

 
 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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