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15 Vintage Black and White Photographs of Airships

The German zeppelin Hindenburg floats past the Empire State Building over Manhattan - AP PhotoSince its inception in the 1850s, we have always been fascinated with lighter-than-air flight or balloons with steering and propulsion capabilities. Like many early flight and other aeronautical experiments, however, the trial-and-error period was hazardous and lasted awhile. These blimps (powered balloons) and dirigibles (including internal support structures) were filled with floating gases like hydrogen or helium, and were used for different purposes from long-distance travel to military and research projects. Airships suffered many setbacks as a commercial form of travel, though, and were basically discontinued not long after the famous Hindenburg disaster in 1937. Despite these challenges, there are a number of airships in use around the world as cargo carriers, military platforms, tourist attractions and even a hopeful balloon-powered project to bring the Internet to all one day! Until then, enjoy some fine vintage throwback balloon pictures from yesteryear.

1905 - Tomas Scott Baldwin's airship over Portland Oregon during the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition - Library of Congress1905 – Tomas Scott Baldwin's airship over Portland Oregon during the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition – Library of Congress
 
1906 - Airship flies above the White House in Washington, D.C. - George Buck, Library of Congress1906 – Airship flies above the White House in Washington, D.C. – George Buck, Library of Congress
 
1907 - Thomas Scott Baldwin became the first American to descend from a balloon via parachute - Library of Congress1907 – Thomas Scott Baldwin became the first American to descend from a balloon via parachute – Library of Congress
 
1910 - Wellman airship "America" viewed from the RMS TRENT - Library of Congress1910 – Wellman airship "America" viewed from the RMS TRENT – Library of Congress
 
1922 = Boats, airplane and airship - Library of Congress1922 = Boats, airplane and airship – Library of Congress
 
1926 - Norge airship over Ekeberg, Norway - National Library of Norway1926 – Norge airship over Ekeberg, Norway – National Library of Norway
 
1929 - The Graf Zeppelin flies low over Tokyo1929 – The Graf Zeppelin flies low over Tokyo
 
1920 - British M.P.s walk onto an airship in Cardington, England - Library of Congress1920 – British M.P.s walk onto an airship in Cardington, England – Library of Congress
 
1931 - Aerial view of the USS Akron over Washington, D.C. -  Library of Congress1931 – Aerial view of the USS Akron over Washington, D.C. – Library of Congress
 
1933 - Interior hull of a U.S. Navy dirigible - National Archives1933 – Interior hull of a U.S. Navy dirigible – National Archives
 
1937 - The German dirigible Hindenburg crashes and killed 36 people - AP Photo/Murray Becker1937 – The German dirigible Hindenburg crashes and killed 36 people – AP Photo/Murray Becker
 
The USS Los Angeles, moored to the USS Patoka - San Diego Air and Space Museum ArchiveThe USS Los Angeles, moored to the USS Patoka – San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive
 
1943 - Sunset over the Atlantic finds a United Nations convoy moving peacefully towards it destination during World War II - Library of Congress1943 – Sunset over the Atlantic finds a United Nations convoy moving peacefully towards it destination during World War II – Library of Congress
 
1933 - The USS Macon sails over lower Manhattan - AP Photo/U.S. Navy 1933 – The USS Macon sails over lower Manhattan – AP Photo/U.S. Navy
 
via The Atlantic

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