The airship industry effectively died with the Hindenburg disaster of 1937, but for 80 or so years previously the dream of lighter-than-air travel had gradually been becoming a reality. The sight of airships were becoming less of a novelty and were seen in the sky’s across Europe and North America.

In truth though, by the time the Hindenburg exploded Germany were the only country still flying airships and the industry was already in deline. England, France and other air pioneers had already abandoned floating air travel after numerous other air disasters. Here are some photos showing the world when airships still filled the skies.

Hindenburg airship and antelopes

2 antelopes ready to be loaded onto the Hindenburg to be transported to a zoo in 1937


London with an airship in the sky 1930

London (Lambeth, looking towards Westminster Palace) with German airship overhead 1930

Airship being built 1933

American airship being built 1933. Look at the height of those ladders!


Passengers waiting to board an airship

Passengers waiting to board an American airship, 1930s


Norwegian airship 1920s

The airship ‘Norway’ over Ekeberg in 1926.


Zeppelin disaster

The Zeppelin LII disaster in 1913. She exploded during an altitude test after being exposed to the sun for too long due to a delay in starting the engines. More information here


Ground crew tethering a Zeppelin

Ground crew tethering a Zeppelin to a mast


Airship passing over a hotel

Airship flying over the Hotel Bristol in Bergen, Norway. 1930


Airship ground crew

Airship ground crew in America, probably from 1933 judging by the writing on the photograph


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