posted at 05:50
Author: Chris Wild
The Graf Zeppelin in 1929: Worlds first commercial airline left onlookers in complete awe
These images show the airship Graf Zeppelin LZ 127 flying over Chicago in August 1929, on the American leg of its round-the-world trip. Ferdinand von Zeppelin, a German count, or "Graf," developed the Zeppelin airship. It was the world's first commercial airline, and was so successful that the word Zeppelin was used to describe all airships. During WWI the German army used Zeppelins in bombing raids on Britain, killing over 500 people. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the peace treaty which finally ended the First World War, the remaining Zeppelins were surrendered to the Allies and production stopped. In 1924 as war reparation, the Zeppelin Company manufactured the LZ 126. Restrictions were lifted in 1926 and after two years of fundraising and construction, the LZ 127 - christened the "Graf Zeppelin" - was launched. On Aug. 8, 1929 the Graf Zeppelin took off from Lakehurst and headed east.

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