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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Airship: 1915

Airship: 1915

New York, March 22, 1915. "Navy dirigible, Long Island." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

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The C-4 at NAS Rockaway?

This looks a lot like the C-4, which operated out of NAS Rockaway.

However, NAS Rockaway wasn't built until (I believe) 1917

Here's some photos of it, including a shot of their blimp hangar. Note the same doors, and the cupola on the roof.

Here's an image of the C-4 herself.

Not a Dirigible, not 1915

My suspicions are confirmed by some brief online research. Dirigibles (rigid airships) are easily recognized by their "facets" - the skin is stretched across internal framing whose outline shows through. Blimps are inflated, and hence much rounder.

["Dirigible" does not, strictly speaking, mean "rigid airship" -- the current usage is a mistaken notion resulting from confusion over the similarity of the words "rigid" and "dirigible," which means "steerable." Ninety years ago, people correctly used the word "dirigible" to mean "steerable airship," whether or not the airship was rigid. The use of the word "dirigible" in the caption for this photo -- a caption written in 1915 -- has nothing to say about whether the airship has a rigid frame or not. - Dave]

Re: Re: Pop Quiz

Straight from my son in fifth grade: Aircraft are kept in a hangar. Not a "hanger."

[Sonny gets a gold star. Thank you! - Dave]

Re: Pop Quiz

At the Tillamook Air Museum in Tillamook, Oregon the building is called either a Blimp Hanger or an Airship Shed.

[Not quite. Next guess? - Dave]

Future Floyd Bennett NAS

Having grown up in these parts, my educated guess is that we're looking at the future Floyd Bennett Naval Air Station, which operated until the middle 1960s or so. The multi-story building in the distance looks a little familiar. It might've survived until the 1950s.

Pop Quiz

What do we call the large structure where blimps and other aircraft are kept? (Hint: Not a "hanger," which is where you'd put a sweater, not an airplane.)

Blimp Memories

I grew up in Akron, the home of the Goodyear blimps. I used to see the crews muscling the blimps in and out of the huge blimp hangars there. I toured one of the hangars on a grade school field trip. The thing that impressed my young mind the most was the tour guide telling us that it would sometimes rain inside the hangar on a sunny day, because rain clouds would get trapped inside the hangar.

I was in Akron recently and saw that one hangar is still there.

Heave ho!

This picture really illustrates the size of the ground crews needed to manhandle these things around. Sort of like trying to deal with a huge drunken elephant on a unicycle.


I thought the Rockaway Naval Air Station was founded in 1917, unless I have the location wrong.


I like the little guard house on top of the hangar.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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