LZ 129 Hindenburg Envelope 1936
LZ 129 Hindenburg Envelope 1936 - White envelope, purple tissue lined for air mail expediting, stamped "Mit Luftschiff LZ 129 befordert" in an oval, postmarked March 23, 1936 at Friedrichshafen, twelve German stamps, addressed in black ink but difficult to decipher, 90 mm x 137 mm, crinkled, very fine. Footnote: LZ 129 Hindenburg was a large German commercial passenger-carrying rigid airship, the lead ship of the Hindenburg class, the longest class of flying machine and the largest airship by envelope volume. It was designed and built by the Zeppelin Company on the shores of Lake Constance in Friedrichshafen and was operated by the German Zeppelin Airline Company. The airship flew from March 1936 until destroyed by fire fourteen months later on May 6, 1937, at the end of the first North American transatlantic journey of its second season of service. Thirty-six people died in the accident, which occurred while landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. The Hindenburg made seventeen round trips across the Atlantic Ocean in 1936, its first and only full year of service, with ten trips to the United States and seven to Brazil. In July 1936, the airship also completed a record Atlantic double crossing in five days, 19 hours and 51 minutes. During the 1936 season the airship flew 191,583 miles (308,323 km), carried 2,798 passengers, and transported 160 tons of freight and mail, a level of success that encouraged the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin Company to plan the expansion of its airship fleet and transatlantic services. The airship was reportedly so stable that a pen or pencil could be stood on a table without falling. Its launches were so smooth that passengers often missed them, believing that the airship was still docked to its mooring mast. The cost of one way passage between Germany and the United States was US$400, an especially considerable sum in the Depression era. Hindenburg passengers were generally affluent, including many public figures, entertainers, noted sportsmen, political figures, and leaders of industry.