Songs inspired by the early age of flight.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- AirSpaceMag.com, February 19, 2009
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
The era of the giant airships lasted from 1900 to 1940, when the last Zeppelin was dismantled. The behemoths were the first commercial aircraft, ferrying customers across the German countryside long before airplanes. In 1900, a 62-year-old inventor, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, arrived on the scene. At the time of his maiden flight, Zeppelin had no practical knowledge of powered flight beyond a few balloon ascents, and many viewed his invention skeptically. “I am not a circus rider who performs for the public,” Zeppelin remarked testily. “I am doing serious work for my country.” Dirigibles would eventually become synonymous with his name.