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Zeppelin The Story of a Great Achievement   By:

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[Illustration: COUNT ZEPPELIN

1838 1917]


The Story of a Great Achievement

For the great vision and unfaltering devotion to an idea that gave the rigid airship to the world, this compilation is my humble tribute to the memory of Count Zeppelin.

[Signature: Harry Vissering]

Chicago, August, 1922

Copyright 1922 by Harry Vissering

All rights reserved including that of translation into foreign languages.


" The forces of nature cannot be eliminated but they may be balanced one against the other. "

Count Zeppelin, Friedrichshafen, May 1914. ]

"The savage can fasten only a dozen pounds on his back and swim the river. When he makes an axe, fells a tree, and builds a raft, he can carry many times a dozen pounds. As soon as he learns to rip logs into boards and build a boat, he multiplies his power a hundredfold; and when to this he adds modern sciences he can produce the monster steel leviathans that defy wind, storm and distance, and bear to the uttermost parts of the earth burdens a millionfold greater than the savage could carry across the narrow river."

Horace Mann


"Of all inventions, the alphabet and the printing press alone excepted, those inventions which abridge distance have done most for civilization."


The economic value of the fast transportation of passengers, mail and express matter has been well proven. The existing high speed railway trains and ocean liners are the result of the ever increasing demand for rapid communication both on land and water.

Saving in time is the great essential. The maximum surface speed has apparently been attained. The railways and steamships of today, while indeed fast, have reached their economical limit of speed and it is not to be expected that they will be able, because of the enormous additional cost of operation involved, to attain much greater speeds.

The large Zeppelin Airship supplies the demand for a much faster, more luxurious, more comfortable and more safe long distance transportation. It is not restricted by the geographical limitations of the railway and the steamship. A Zeppelin can go anywhere , in fact the cruising radius of a Zeppelin is only limited by the size of the ship and the amount of fuel it can carry.

Zeppelins, only slightly larger than those actually flown during the last few months of the war, are capable of safely and quickly making a non stop flight from Berlin to Chicago and from New York to Paris in 56 hours, carrying 100 passengers and in addition 12 tons of mail or express matter.

In November, 1917, the Zeppelin L 59 made a non stop flight from Jambol, Bulgaria, to a point just west of Khartum in Africa and return to Jambol in 95 hours (4 days) covering a distance of 4225 miles and carrying more than 14 tons of freight besides a crew of 22, which performance remains a world's record for all kinds of aircraft, airship or aeroplane.

In July, 1919, the British Rigid Airship R 34 (copy of the Zeppelin L 33 brought down in England) crossed the Atlantic in 103 hours and after being refueled at New York returned home in 75 hours.

[Illustration: Count Zeppelin, Doctor Eckener and Capt. Strasser (Chief of Naval Air Service). On the occasion of the last visit of the Count to the Airship Harbor at Nordholz.]

[Illustration: Dr. Ing. Ludwig Dürr, Chief Engineer. Who was associated with Count Zeppelin from the start.]

The German Airship Transportation Company DELAG (a Zeppelin subsidiary) during a period of three years just before the war, 1911 14, carried 34,228 passengers without a single injury to either passengers or crews, and after the war, from August 24th to December 1st, 1919, by means of the improved Zeppelin "Bodensee" carried 2,380 passengers, 11,000 pounds of mail (440,000 letters), and 6,600 pounds of express matter, exclusive of crews, between Friedrichshafen (Swiss frontier) and Berlin under unfavorable weather and terminal conditions, besides a flight from Berlin to Stockholm and return... Continue reading book >>

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