Anniversary of First Zeppelin Flight

by Smithsonian Digital Library

Portrait of Ferdinand, Graf von ZeppelinPortrait of Ferdinand, Graf von Zeppelin

On July 2, 1900, Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin flew the first airship, later dubbed zeppelin, near Lake Constance in Germany, with  five passengers on board. Zeppelins were used in World War I and II, and as the first commercial air transportation until the Hindenburg disaster of 1937, when their use and popularity declined.

Little-known zeppelin fact: the distinctive tower at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City was originally designed as a zeppelin port, but was only used once in that capacity.—Elizabeth Periale

This image can be found in Scientific Identity: Portraits from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, 2003.

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