LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin Postcard 1928
LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin Postcard 1928 - Sepia-toned with gold type and trim on the obverse, inscribed in a gold overprint "Leipzig Trade Fair, 11 West 42nd Street, New York, N.Y." and illustrating a collage of various buildings in Leipzig, Germany, reverse has a Leipzig-oriented border, stamped "Mit Luftschiff LZ 127 befordert" in an oval at the right and "Mit Luftpost Oar avion" label at the bottom, a printed message inscribed "Dera sir, By zeppelin Ocean Mail I am sending you the compliments of the biggest goods exchange place of the world. I hope that I shall have the pleasure of welcoming you in Leipzig for the Spring Fair on March 3rd 1929. Yours Truly (underdetermined signature) Chairman of the Leipzig Trade Fair Management Corporation", postmarked October 16, 1928 at New York and postmarked October 28, 1928 at Friedrichshafen, Germany, one Two Reichsmark German stamp, addressed to "Mr. J.R. Homer, c./o. Duncan & Homer Co., 53 Public Square, Wlikes Barre, (Pennsylvania) U.S.A.", on card stock, 106 mm x 148 mm, face of the postcard has experienced loss on the left side of the collage, slight discolouration, fine. Footnote: LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin was a German-built and -operated, passenger-carrying, hydrogen-filled, rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a "Graf" or Count in the German nobility. During its operating life, the airship made 590 flights covering more than a million miles (1.6 million km). It was designed to be operated by a crew of 36 officers and men. In October 1928 the Graf Zeppelin made its first intercontinental trip, a 9,926 km (6,168 mi), 111 hour crossing from Friedrichshafen to Lakehurst with Dr. Eckener in command. Capt. Ernst Lehmann, who would be killed in the crash of the Hindenburg at Lakehurst eight and a half years later, served as First Officer on the flight and U.S. Navy LCDR Charles E. Rosendahl, commander of the ZR-3 USS Los Angeles (ex-LZ 126), made the westward journey during which he also stood watch as a regular ship's officer. Despite encountering heavy headwinds and stormy weather, Eckener had repeated the success of his first transatlantic crossing four years earlier when he delivered the LZ-126 to the U.S. Navy in October 1924 and was welcomed enthusiastically then both with a "ticker tape" parade in New York and a subsequent invitation to the White House. On this first transatlantic trip the airship suffered potentially serious damage to its port tail fin on the third day of the flight when a large section of the linen covering was ripped loose while passing through a mid-ocean squall line at night about 1,500 miles (2,400 km) east of Bermuda (35N, 42W). With the engines stopped, the ship's riggers did their best to tie down the torn fabric to the framework and sew blankets to the ship's envelope while attempting not to fall to the raging seas just below. In the interest of safety, the riggers (including Dr. Eckener's son, Knut) retreated back into the ship whenever it dropped to within a couple of hundred feet of the ocean's surface. This allowed the engines to be restarted to maintain lift. The Graf crossed the U.S. coast at Cape Charles, Virginia, around 10 am on October 15, passed over Washington, D.C., at 12:20 pm, Baltimore at 1 pm, Philadelphia at 2:40 pm, New York City at 4 pm, and landed at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station at 5:38 pm. After an almost two-week stay in the United States, during which time its damaged tail was repaired, the Graf left Lakehurst for Germany at 1:24 am on October 29 and arrived back in Friedrichshafen shortly before dawn on November 1.