Mechanical Toys, Now Hear This, Pressed Steel, Tin Toys — September 1, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Now Hear This: Zeppelins

BY JACK HERBERT

Undoubtedly the most unique Transportation Vehicles since the Ark was the Twentieth Century Airship, ultimately reaching two or three football fields in total length. The gas filled behemoths ruled our long distance overseas travel aspirations for a relatively short time, but they were stupendous—the perfect word for their time.

The dirigible consisted of a series of balloons all gathered together, with a motor and tail flaps added. That’s basically all there was to it. Your great grandparents actually went up into the open air in these things, something I don’t think we’d care to do now. Our ancestors had more guts.

Toymakers of the last century loved Zeppelins, of course, and why not? As the real thing was so incredible, so, in their way, was the toy. Here’s a few tinplate toy dirigibles, ranging from 1904 until, roughly, 1930, when the Graf Zeppelin first appeared. She outlived them all.

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