Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to the man obsessed with airships

Today is German born Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin's birthday. As you probably guessed, he was the aeronaut that created the idea of the famous Zeppelin, precurser to the aeroplane. He was also a Count.

Intrigued with air balloons since he was about forty years of age, Count von Zeppelin took it upon himself to learn as much as possible from professors in America. Balloons, for those of you who don't know (I didn't) were used at the time of the American Civil War. They had balloon camps that were off limits to regular folk. Military only, I believe. It was not until 1909 that they were allowed to be used by civilians.

That did not stop him, he found people to teach him all they knew regardless. But it was not the balloons that Count von Zeppelin was so keen on as he was the idea of guideable balloons.

You know what they say, when there's a will there's a way. Count von Zeppelin may not have been lucky enough to ever see a successful Zeppelin flight in his lifetime, but he had much backing from donations, to lotteries, to other funds and colleagues who contributed their monies and dedicated work to the Zeppelin Foundation.

Unfortunately, Zeppelin had to die dreaming and hoping that one day, his theory would be a success. It took a while, but it did finally happen. Zeppelin died in 1917, just before WWI. Once the Treaty of Versailles (which caused a hault to "zeppelening") was no more, his successor, Hugo Eckener, who resurrected the Zeppelin project and made all of Count von Zeppelin's dreams come true.

In honor of Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, I believe some LED ZEPPELIN is in order. And yes, they're right up there with Pink Floyd in my book! Way up at the top. Enjoy...

for more information on Led Zeppelin and how the band's name possibly came about, visit


dustjacket attic said...

Mr Zeppelin looks so sweet.

My fav Zeppelin song is stairway ... of course. lol

I love jazz too, so pleased you liked it too.

Bill Zuback said...

Aah, the Debauchery of Led Zeppelin. Classic! Love it.

Frieda Babbley said...

Hey there dustjacket attic, I love that one too, I've just heard it way too many times to put it in here. I overindulged in that one. Yeah, I was thrilled at the jazz piece playing for your Hugh and Nicole post!

Hi Bill. Awesome, isn't it. Ah, the debauchery.

Marie Reed said...

This is sooo up my alley history and a good rock out! Zeppelins are fascinating! I read recently that
The Empre State building's spire was originally designed to be a mooring mast and depot for zeppelins! The 102nd floor was a landing platform with a dirigible gangplank. Who would have thunk it?

Frieda Babbley said...

Awesome Marie. I'm so glad you liked this. I had no idea about the Empire State building info. Thanks for passing that on!

Annie said...

Frieda, great post. Thanks for the reminder of all things Zeppelin. I'm old enough to remember seeing dirigibles floating in the sky when I was a kid. To a kid who believed in magic...and I still do...the sighting of a dirigibles meant good luck. To this day I get excited when I see the Goodyear Blimp, now with Snoopy smiling down at me.

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