This site is a pictorial history of rigid airships, illustrated by original zeppelin postcards, brochures, letters, covers, and other items from my personal collection of zeppelin memorabilia. As an ongoing work-in-progress, the site will continue to grow as additional images and information are added over time.
Why my interest in airships? As a self-confessed technology and transportation nerd, I have long been fascinated by the history and technology of ships, trains, and aircraft. (Unless you are a geek with a lot of free time, don’t get me started talking about the turbo-electric powerplant of the S.S. Normandie, or the pros-and-cons of articulated trainsets, or the difference between a rotary and radial aircraft engine.) And as an former pilot, obsessed by aircraft and flight since my early childhood, I naturally have a particular interest in aviation. In addition to that, I am especially fascinated by the Machine Age, and by the early 20th century enthusiasm for technology that was expressed through streamlining, the Bauhaus, and the age of industrial design, all of which came together in the great passenger zeppelins, particularly Hindenburg. And finally, as an untrained technology enthusiast (my academic degree is in history, and not engineering), I am nostalgic about an era in which the most advanced technology of the day could be fully understand, and even developed, by untrained amateurs like Ferdinand von Zeppelin, or Hugo Eckener. The defining aviation technologies of the 1920’s and 1930’s — the flying boat airliner, the passenger zeppelin, the improved internal combustion engine — are actually remarkably simple devices, and there is not much about the construction and operation of these machines that cannot be fully understood by a person of average intelligence and a touch of mechanical ability. And so there is something nostalgically appealing for me about an era in which the height of technology was represented by machines which were, in essence, so very, very basic. Plus they were just really cool. Thank you for visiting my website, and please say hello. Dan Grossman.