Happy Birthday, Ferdinand von Zeppelin

Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin was born in Germany 172 years ago today. Zeppelin didn't invent the airship, but he made them bigger and better to the point that they became known as zeppelins. Read more about Zeppelin and his airships at Geeks Are Sexy. Link

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True. But the U.S. had most of the world's helium at the time and would not supply it to Germany (no surprise) so they had to resort to hydrogen for lift.

For unmanned airships, hydrogen makes a lot of sense even today. But not for passenger use.
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Zeppelin technology was simply overcome by another new technology -- film.

The spectacular explosion of the Hinderburg in 1937 was played and replayed in movie theaters across the world, horrifying the public and giving zeppelins a permanent reputation as dangerous and unsafe.

Zeppelins might have made a comeback, had it not been for those dramatic images.
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