Basic facts about the D-LZ 129 Hindenburg Zeppelin

D-LZ 129:  D-LZ = Deutsche Luftschiff Zeppelin which translates into German Airship Zeppelin. The number 129 refers to the design number, not the sequential number of ships built. The Graf Zeppelin was LZ 127. The next number LZ 128 was designed but never built.

Named after:  Paul von Hindenburg, the recently deceased ex-President of Germany. Another name considered was the Hitler, but the Nazis had concerns about the potential negative association should the Zeppelin ever crash. So Hitler’s name was withdrawn in favor of naming the zeppelin the Hindenburg.

Owners & Operators:  Deutsche Zeppelin Reiderei.

Manufacturer:  Luftschiffbau Zeppelin.

Manufactured:  1932-1936.

Launched:  On March 4, 1936 from Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Destroyed:  On May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst, New Jersey at completion of 1st trans-Atlantic flight of the 1937 season.

Fact: The Hindenburg, along with her sister ship the D-LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II, were the largest man-made objects ever to fly!

Length: 803.8 feet (almost 2-1/2 football fields long).

Diameter: 135.1 feet (13-1/2 stories tall).

Weight: 130,000 lbs 

Gas Capacity: 7,062,100 cubic feet of hydrogen gas.

Piece of seared duralumin girder from the Hindenburg

Piece of seared duralumin girder from the Hindenburg

Girders:  Over 13 miles (21kms) of Duralumin girders were used to build the Hindenburg

Maximum Speed: 84.4 mph (135 km/hr).

Hindenburg's Deimler-Benz deisel engine with 20 foot long wooden props

Hindenburg's Deimler-Benz deisel engine with 10 foot long wooden blades

Propellers: Qty: Four ‘+ shaped’ propellers each with four 10′ long blades

Motors: Qty: Four Dailmer-Benz diesel engines (1200 hp each)
$400 ticket for the Hindenburg dated August 16, 1937 for Fr

$400 one way ticket for the Hindenburg dated August 16, 1937 for Frl. Elsi Hardwood traveling from Frankfurt to Lakehurst, NJ. This ticket is on auction at Ebay for $2,500.00.

Ticket Prices in 1936:  One way: US$400.00 (same price for the cost of a car at that time), Round trip: US$720.00.
See link to ebay:

Fact: The Hindenburg, flew for one full year in 1936 prior to its destruction in May of 1937.

Passenger Capacity in 1936: 62 passengers

Passenger Capacity in 1937: 72 passengers

Number of Passengers and Crew on Final Flight: 36 passengers, 61 crew (the flight was used as a training flight for crew who would work on other Zeppelins later that year hence the larger number of crew on board).

Hindenburg as seen from near the hanger May 6, 1937

Number of Dead: 13 passengers, 22 crew, 1 ground crew = 36 fatalities

There are many more facts that I could add here, but for now, this is a good start.

UPDATE: Feb 10, 2010: For more information on the Hindenburg and other great airships, visit Dan Grossman’s website at   http://www.airships.net/hindenburg.





The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://awesometalks.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/d-lz-129-hindenburg-just-the-facts-maam/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

75 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. If your want travel to thailand pls visit my’s blog.

  2. Coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!

  3. Hi Kelly: Thanks for your ‘cool’ comment. I really appreciate it. Are you a student? If so, where do you go to school and what grade are you in? Are you doing a project on the Hindenburg or just looking for your own interest?
    Have a great day.

  4. I am looking for Hindenburg or Los Angeles girder fragments
    and possibly a photo of the ZPG-2 141559

    • Hi Chris: Parts of the duralumin girders from the Hindenburg are not difficult to find but verification of their authenticity should always be considered. Ebay in one location to look for these kind of items. Currently Ebay has one auction listed that has a tiny shaving of duralumin from the Hindenburg.
      Regarding the Los Angeles, in the fall of 1939, it was relagated to inventory by the Navy and disassembled. To this day, I have not come across any remnants of the Los Angeles on sale. But it is not to say they are not out there.
      I myself have purchased duralumin from both the Akron and the Hindenburg. As well, I have a small piece of one of the propellers from the Hindenburg. I patiently waited over a two year period to pick up these pieces but I also let several larger pieces get away because I thought they were too expensive. Now I regret not jumping at those chances.
      There are many auction sites that often put items like these on sale. Search Google for these items often and you will come across auctions when they go on sale.
      Again, buyer beware. But have some faith too.
      With regards to the ZPG-2 141559, the non-rigid Goodyear airship flown by the US Navy this is not my specialty Chris. However I found a site that might have a photo for you but I can’t be sure. If anyone can help Chris out here, please contact him at his email here or leave me a message and I wil contact him.
      I hope this helps. http://www.naval-airships.org/zpg2.html.

  5. I am appreciative to any and all persons who could help me locate an item that I could have for my own to frame and share with others.
    It is so hard to find anything as all of the collectors and wealthy entrepeneurs have already taken possession of any Hindenburg remains.

    If anyone sees this and would be please help me please contact Cttexas@gmail.com
    I have been looking for an item since the death of my wife and have come up empty handed.



    • Hi Chris: It can be difficult finding artifacts from major news making events. The Hindenburg disaster is certainly one of them.
      I personally have a piece of one of the wooden propellers from the Hindenburg, a small piece of duralumin and a small piece of one of the tail flags that I’ve collected over the past 5 years.
      Saying that, I did not initially start out finding them. If you are looking for inexpensive, Hindenburg related memorabilia, start out by collecting ‘covers’ (envelopes from letters sent on the Hindenburg). I have three of these. What is interesting is that they don’t come from Hindenburg collectors. Instead they come from stamp collectors. The stamps on the covers have been collected for years and years and so they have been kept in very good shape by their previous owners. Generallly, the stamp collectors are more interested in their stamps than the historical significance of the covers. So that is why you can usually find these for a reasonable price.
      For me, the ‘rubber stamped impressions’ showing dates and locations is far more important to me than the stamps. They tell me the exact dates and trips that the particular mail piece flew on. The Hindenburg was in service for one year (1936) prior to the explosion in 1937. It made 10 round trips between Germany and Lakehurst, NJ as well as 7 round trip between Rio de Janiero and Germany. It not only moved people and cargo, it also acted as an airmail carrier.
      So these covers tell a lot. My first two were from the 6th round trip to NJ and the return trip from the 1st voyage to America. But later, I found and obtained a letter which flew on the original flight to America. It wasn’t until after that that I came across the other pieces mentioned earlier.
      Chris, the best place to look is on Ebay or another auction site. I’ve come across china flown on the Hindenburg and buttons worn by the crew. The memorabilia is out there but you just never know when it is going to be auctioned off. Memorabilia directly related to the disaster is more rare, but with patience, you will come across it too (like I did) and go for it. Bottom line is Be Patient and enjoy the thrill of the chase.
      Go on ebay and search Hindenburg

      • I have a wooden piece from the Hindenburg. My dad was a minister at the time of the disaster and a member of his congregation worked on the ground crew. He gave my dad a wooden piece we believe came from the bar rail. My dad wrote in ink on the piece and it remained on his desk until his death in the early 1980s. It is now one of my prised possessions. I corresponded with Lakehurst about 10 years ago and the best guess is a piece of the bar rail.

      • Hi Gordie: Thanks for writing. That is a great piece of history you have there. If you don’t have it yet, write down as much about the history of the piece as you can find out for the future. People want every detail when they can get it, so please record whatever you can about it. Even the littlest detail may help to give the piece credence down the road. With so many fakes and other fraudulent attempts to pass off items as genuine pieces, it becomes so important to get as much proof as you can. My father collected autographs on a Babe Ruth baseball he won years ago. I was with him at two of the signings and he had the top 8 homerun hitters in the world at one time. But there is no real proof that he got these signatures other than his word. So it will always be a piece of memerobilia that has significance in our family, but has little value to the outside world due to the fact that it cannot be proved.
        Enjoy the piece and thank you for sharing it with us. If you have a photo of it, I’d consider posting it for everyone to see. Just write a short description of how you came to get it (from your father and how he obtained it and his involvement with the disaster). Send the information to me at outreach@awesometalks.com.
        Thanks again.

  6. Hey, thanks for all the info!!! I’m doing a report on the Hindenburg, and i got 6 of my ten important facts here! And it’s really interesting information, too. Keep writing more facts!

  7. oh, and i forgot to ask- why did the hindenburg explode?
    please write back!

    • Hi Lauren: Thanks for the nice notes. I hope this does help you on your report. What grade are you in?
      Let me answer your question about what caused the Hindenburg to explode. There are several theories that still get debated today. Was it sabatage (a bomb perhaps), a lightning strike or static electricity? These are the three biggest theories.

      BOMB: 1937 was just before the start of World War II and there were many enemies of Hitler and Nazi Germany both in and outside of Germany. The Nazis used the Hindenburg and its sister ship the Graf Zeppelin for propaganda purposes. They were very proud of these two ships and the superior engineering and safety record they had that if someone were to destroy the Hindenburg it would be very embarrassing for the Nazis. A bomb threat was printed in a newspaper before the Hindenburg left Germany. Threats were common during these pre-war days.

      LIGHTNING STRIKE: May 6, 1937 was a rainy afternoon. Lightning had been seen in the area of Lakehurst, NJ. The Hindenburg was already several hours late for its scheduled arrival at Lakehurst due to headwinds it encountered while crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Germany. As it neared Lakehurst the weather conditions were not favorable and the captain decided to continue south down the coast of NJ until the weather cleared. Lakehurst personell radioed the Captain a short time later and told him that conditions had improved and he could make his way back to perform his landing.

      STATIC ELECTRICITY: When the mooring ropes were dropped to the ground by the Hindenburg (as you can see in the films of the disaster and in the still photos too) they became wet as it continued to rain. Once the ropes touched the earth they grounded the aircraft. This made for an ideal condition for static electricity build up. The Hindenburg, although it had a duralimin structure inside its skin, it was lifted into the air by 15 massive bags of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is very flammable but lighter than air, so this is why the structure could float. The bags were made out of a material called Gold Beater’s skin (the intestines of cows) and coated with a gelatin sealant on the inside). Still, the bags were apt to leak and the crew constantly was on repair duty.

      At the time of the disaster, an orange flame was seen shooting straight up in front of the tail fin.

      The investigations into the disaster were done by both the FBI and Germans intelligence agencies reviewed the disaster and both concluded that the most likely cause of the explosion was static electricity igniting leaking hydrogen. But the rumors about bombs and lightning strikes have always persisted as people were not satisfied with that explanation.

      I believe that it was static electricity as well. Once the mooring ropes touched the ground and got wet, it made conditions for static electricity very likely. And it would have taken just one small leak of hydrogen to ignite to cause the chain reaction fire that resulted.
      There is no concrete evidence to support a bomb theory as no igniting device was ever found. Lightning is always a possibility but no witnesses ever reported seeing or hearing a lightning strike.

      So the best candidate to blame is still the one that the original investigators agreed on. Static electricity.
      I hope this helps your paper.


  8. You need to put more facts on here!!!
    This is a good website with a lot of good information but it would be better if you could put more on.
    I am currently working on a project that is due today and I need some more facts.

    • Hi Ben:
      Your comment has me laughing here. What other facts do you need and perhaps I can help you with it.
      Let me know.

  9. Where are your references, Barry?

    • Hi Amy: Thank you for writing. I post so many facts that I don’t often list my references but share them when needed. They come from books, experts, people, researchers and of course, the internet. Did you have a specific fact in mind that you need the reference for? Please let me know and I’ll be happy to share the info with you.

  10. Oh forgot 2 type this: PLS RESPOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    From Amy

  11. No, i don’t have a specific fact. I’m a fifth grader writing a paper. I used this sourse and i like the facts.i want to visit more websites. i need bibliography.

  12. @ Amy (and others)

    Perhaps I could offer my website as a source for some additional information?


    • Hi Dan: Thanks for commenting. I took a look at your site and it’s quite comprehensive. The information on the Hindenburg (in particular the flight schedule) was very helpful to me. I own several letters that were carried on the ship at various times and so it was good to see the full flight schedule to get a better idea on which flights the mail was carried.
      Thanks again for writing and letting us know about your website.

  13. Thanks to anyone and everyone who has attempted to help me find pieces of the Hindenburg.

    Although this has been a very very VERY strong desire of mine for 25 years I am afraid i have to give up the search as only the wealthy have accessibility and funds to purchase whatever is still remaining of this great ship.

    My heart is broken

    Why is it that only the wealthy and beautiful are the ones who recieve?

    Thanks everyone …really!
    Chris Thomas

  14. Chris, I have a piece of duralumin 1in x 3in from the Hindenburg. It was given to me by my father who received it from my uncle who was present at the Hindenburg disaster. I have been trying to discover it’s value. Would you be interested in it once I have it appraised if it is not too expensive?

    • Hi Kathy: That sounds really exciting. I’m sure Chris would love to speak to you. I have forwarded your email to him so you can keep your ‘negotiations’ private. Thanks for considering Chris’ search.

  15. haha Nice website. It was really useful for my science project. Just needed an interesting story about the frame. Considering it is made of duralumin. Thanks again and hope to see more facts.

  16. Hi there Barry, hope the new year finds you doing well, just a final note, had an expert look at my photo yesterday, unfortunately it is according to him a copy of a photo (printed) no luck for me. take care and thanks again

  17. I heard some time ago that the Duralumin from the Hindenburg had marks impressed on it to indicate the manufacturer, something like a small V. Have you heard of this? Regards

    • Hi E. Healy: Thanks for writing. That is an interesting possibility but I do not personally know the answer. The manufacturer of Duralumin for the Hindenburg was a German manufacturer. However, Duralumin, the predecessor to aluminum was a fairly common material around the world in the 1920s & 30s. The American and British dirigables also used Duralumin. Perhaps they too also had markings on their materials. I would think that it is likely that manufacturers as a practice, would indeed mark their products but I cannot tell you for sure if they did.
      Please let me know if you do find the answer to this.

  18. Again I find myself here looking and looking and looking for any hindenburg items. I am still coming up empty handed and discouraged. If any of you that are reading this have ANYTHING at all and would not mind making it available to me i would love greatly appreciate it. After 25 years I must depend on you and ask for your help

    Thank you
    Chris Thomas
    Specific interest “The Hindenburg”

    • I have a piece of the fabric that my grandfather picked up as a navy corpsman assigned to the landing of the Hindenburg. I need to go through the verification process but I will indeed sell it at the right price.

      • Hi John: I am happy to post your comment here in hopes that someone may be interested in your item. However, I cannot endorse it or assist you in brokering a deal. To do that, I ask potential buyers to contact you directly.
        There have been too many fraudulent items created over the years by charlatans and swindlers that have ruined opportunities for honest sellers and buyers to trust one another. Gather as much information as you can about the piece and your grandfather’s records regarding his involvement at the crash site. If you have your grandfather’s personal recollections of the event and how he came to obtain the piece as well this can be very helpful for a potential buyer to consider. Even if you can’t produce 100% provenance for the piece, there are buyers who still may put their faith into an honest story. Good luck with it and please let us all know how it goes.

  19. I have a fork from the Hindenburg. Passed down from my grandfather. Anyone have an idea of it’s value. It is in very good condition.

    • any interest in selling it, send me a pic and how much you would want

    • I read somewhere that a burned fork from the Hindenburg brought $12,000 US at auction a few years ago. I’m looking for values also. My father was an employee at Goodyear Aerospace and obtained a section of girder from the Hindenburg and I am trying to verify Hindenburg or possibly Akron. Jack

      • Hi Jack: If I understand you correctly, you are trying to verify if the girder piece your father owned is actually from the Hindenburg or possibly another airship, ie, Akron? Is this correct?
        From what I know of these Jack, the USS Akron and it’s sister ship USS Macon, were designed by the Goodyear-Zeppelin company. Zeppelin built the Hindenburg in Germany whereas Goodyear-Zeppelin built the two US Navy airships. Zeppelin supplied engineers and designers to assist Goodyear in the designing of both, however they were built in Ohio. I do not know if the girders were made from the same materials or not. But I do know that design changes between the Hindenburg and the Akron/Macon ships was different. As well, where the Hindenburg used Hydrogen for lift, the Navy ships used Helium.
        Both US Navy ships crashed in the ocean (Akron in the Atlantic and Macon in the Pacific). Materials from these airships were recovered.
        Do you have a photo of the girder you can send me. That may be the only way to help identify the piece if it did, in fact, come from either of these ships. Any markings on the girder at all could be helpful too.
        Let me know. barryssentials@hotmail.com

      • Will take some pics and get back to you. Thanks for the reply. My father at the time worked between Goodyear Aerospace in Akron and took occasional trips to Lakehurst NJ as part of his job. He was a supervisor with Goodyear for over thirty years. In fact, the first to come back after a medical retirement and worked a total of forty-two years with Goodyear on both the dirigibles and the space programs. He was going to make a table out of this piece. My brother and I both remember him saying that it was from the Hindenburg.

      • Hi Jack: Thanks for the reply. I would imagine that he had great access to some of these materials, especially the Hindenburg girders. Considering that the Hindenburg was lost over land, all of its structure was recovered. And as you know, these were huge ships so there was a lot of material recovered from the wreck site. The Akron crashed in the Atlantic. I’m sure a lot of it was recovered but perhaps not as much as you’d think. I am not as familiar with the recovery efforts of the structure after that disaster. So it is very likely that your dad did indeed have a piece of history. I’m anxious to see them images when you can. Please send them to barryssentials@hotmail.com.

  20. hydrogen is non-explosive. the fabric coating on the outside caught fire because of static-electricity

    • Hi Connor: Thank you for writing. Before my many readers jump on your comments about hydrogen being non-explosive, I thought I’d head them off by responding first. I am sure you meant to say that Helium is non-flammable. Hydrogen is highly flammable and volitile. And yes, very explosive when ignited. The gas the filled the Hindenburg was hydrogen, not helium.
      But as to conclusively knowing what caused the hydrogen to ignite on the Hindenburg, no one has 100% proof of the cause. Those who study the disaster have theorized static electricity, lightning strike, St. Elmo’s fire, a lit match, sabotage and a bomb. All the theories have some form of merit or they wouldn’t persist to this day. But no one theory has ever been proven as to the one and only cause.

      • Barry is correct that we do not know for certain (and may never know) what caused the Hindenburg’s hydrogen to ignite. But we do know that the myth about fabric covering (rather than the hydrogen) being responsible for the destruction of the airship has been debunked time and again:


        It is possible, thought not likely, that the covering was the cause of the initial ignition; but if the Hindenburg had been inflated with helium instead of hydrogen, even a small fire on the outer covering would not have resulted in a major catastrophe.

      • Excellent posting Dan. The outer fabric covering is certainly a major suspect in the disaster. And although the ignition of the hydrogen is what eventually brought her down, it is very interesting speculation to consider what might have happened had the Hindenburg been filled with Helium. If the outer skin was ignited, eventually burning through to the gas bladders holding the helium, we know the helium would not have exploded, but the gas still would have escaped. I would imagine that it would have been a much slower destruction of the airship and perhaps would have allowed for either a) the fire to be extinguished or b) escape of all passengers and crew even if the craft did final succumb to the fire.
        Great post Dan.

  21. Hello Barry,

    Just found your site. Where are you located. I’d like to compare a piece of red fabric from the Hindenburg to the one you mentioned from the “tail flag” in your March 3rd 2009 post.


    • Hi Bill: Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you have a piece of the tail flag as well. I live in Toronto. Please email me at outreach@awesometalks.com and we can discuss this further.

  22. im doin a reseach about the hindenburg where can u find facts about the hindnenburg i have to have that down by i dont no also can u give me some heads up about that pleaze

    • Hi Carrie/Sabrina: This psting should give you good basic information on the Hindenburg. But if you are intersted in a more indepth look at the great airship, go to Dan Grossman’s webiste at http://www.airships.net/hindenburg.
      I hope this helps.
      Best of luck with your research.

  23. Hello everyone

    I have a collection of 7 pieces of flatware taken from the crash site of the Hindenburg in ’37 by my deceased father-in-law who was stationed on the base. I would like to sell the pieces for their worth. I do not know where to start to find collectors. Can anyone help me? I have pictures of these peices.

    • i would be iterested in buying your flatware for a fair price, email me at seancannon36@aol.com thx

  24. Thanks for a wonderful article. Was trying to locate places where the Hindenburg landed. When I was a youngster I remember being at Col. Green’s estate in No. Dartmouth. Mass. (in the 1930’s)to visit a large blimp and I am not sure if it was the Hindenburg , the Graf Zepplin or another. I am now 87 and would like to know?(Col. Green was Ned Green the son of “the Wall Street Witch, Hettie Green).

    • Hi Florence: So nice to hear from you. Off hand I do not know that answer to your question but am looking into it. I’ll let you know as soon as I find the answer.
      I’m so glad you wrote. You are living history. You actually experienced seeing one of these great airships. What an amazing experience.
      I’ll contact you as soon as I find the answer.

  25. hello can you tell me I have 9 New York Herald Tribune 1937 head Lines reads Hindenburg Ecplodes at lakehurst and i would like to fine the value of them
    thank you

    • Hi Joanne: Thank you for writing. That is a nice collectible item. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what these kind of pieces are worth. I am not an expert in collectibles. The best way to research this is to check sites such as eBay and Craig’s List (amongst others) and see if you can find the same, or similar items on sale. I don’t mind listing items that people have in their possession but I unfortunately can’t endorse them or give them a value. This blog is meant to share historical stories. However, I also realize that people are collectors and want these type of items. I own a small piece from one of the Hindenburg’s propellars which I ended up buying from a seller on eBay years ago. I researched the piece and acquired provenance on how the piece was obtained. Although a good forger could have easily faked this piece (and who knows….maybe did!) the background story checked out enough to satisfied me that this was a legitimate piece. And since it is just for me and my small collection, I am quite happy with it.
      For anyone purchasing or selling a collectible, the value of the pieces can vary widely. But what is most important is to have the background story of how the piece came into your possession, who the previous owners were and how it was originally obtained.
      Taking someone’s word on authenticity and even getting a signed Letter of Authenticity isn’t enough nowadays to convince a professional collector. They want indisputable evidence that the item you are selling is genuine. 99% of us do not have this kind of documentation, so getting a high return on your sale is not likely. The good news is that the majority of buyers on eBay are more like me, amateurs. We buy with a tighter budget and a hopeful heart trusting what we are getting is legitimate. If lucky, you may even find someone who just ‘has to have it’ and you’ll get a good price for one of your newspapers. But more likely, you’ll do better to do whatever research you can on this type of item and then set a fixed price that you can live with and sell them one at a time.

  26. Hello everyone- (2 THINGS)
    1) Does anyone know of any collectors of zepplin materials or artifacts in Plano or Dallas Texas? I hope I am not the only one left with an interest.

    2) I am still the same man looking for artifacts or atleast just one that i can call my own and place it under museum glass safely and preserved. Then when i get older i will return it to Lakehurst. Please Someone – does anyone have anything AT ALL. I have been looking for 25 years.. Please someone.


    • Chris,
      I have an authentic piece of the skin of the Hindenburg (nicely scorched). Any interest call (609)602-6991 or email.

      • Hi Chuck: Chris has been looking for a legitimate Hindenburg artifact for some time. Although I cannot verify if submittals of potential artifacts through this blog are geniune or not, I do encourage open discussions between parties in hopes of satisfying everyone’s desires to own a piece of history.
        Please talk to each other and then let me know how it all comes out in then end.
        Thanks for your offer.

  27. I have a china cup that came from the Hindenburg’s crash site. Its scorched and the rim is chipped. How do I learn its value.

    Thank you

    • Hi David: That is an awesome artifact for Hindenburg collectors. I have several pieces myself (fabric and part of one of the wooden props). Right off the bat, I have to tell you that I do not specialize in appraising. There are great people out there who do this however. The way I usually look for approximate pricing ranges is to frequently check auction websites such as Ebay for similar items. About 2 years ago I recall seeing someone had listed Hindenburg china (plates and cups). My memory may fail me but it could also have been from the Hindenburg’s sister ship the Graf Zeppelin. In any case, this type of research can usually give you a good idea. If you have the Antique Road Show coming to your town, that is another way. Stay away from pawn shops and the like. The popular show Pawn Kings is very entertaining, and they do bring in experts who appraise the items brought in for the show, but their business is to buy low and sell for a profit. The key is to find an appraiser who specifically knows your subject.
      Let me direct you to another website Airships.net. My friend Dan Grossman is the webmaster and he may be able to better advise you on who looks at this kind of artifact. Dan specializes in the great airships.
      Have a great day and let us know what you find out.
      Send a picture too. I’d love to see it.

      • I appreciate the info and will follow through on what you suggested.


  29. I am looking for a answer to a trick question my Dad thinks it might be Hindinburg, I am just not sure maybe you can help me. There is a little story with this question so here goes. On the fabled tenth of May, there was much hoopla and hooray, but it was all a bluff. Because ever with the Douglas folks and the Council celebrating, a body of water still separated them. What two burgs still seemed oceans apart? Hope you can help me but if not thats alright. Thank You

    • Hi Vicki. Thanks for the email. Can you check the question carefully. I was having trouble reading it. Is it written correctly? Did you mean

      “On the fabled tenth of May, there was much hoopla and hooray, but it was all a bluff. Because even with the Douglas folks and the Council celebrating, a body of water still separated them. What two burgs still seemed oceans apart?

      Very interesting. What part of the world do you live in as the history may relate more to your local. I can’t see any immediate relationship with the Hindenburg other than ‘burg’. May 10 does not ring a bell with regards to the Hindenburg’s short history. The disaster occurred on May 6 so that doesn’t match.

      A very similar question is currently being looked into on Yahoo! Canada Answers http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101004084225AAF2RJp.

      It is pointed out that a ‘burg’ is a small city or town if that helps.

      I’ll keep working on it for you but will ask my readers to also help out. Good luck and let me know if you figure it out first.


      • everyone is looking for this answer… it has to deal with the first transcontinental railroad on may 10, 1869…

        i think it’s omaha, nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

  30. Dear Readers
    I have a hindenburg six cups and saucers tea set, does any one know how much it is worth and where i can sell it. Please e-mail at alundkjones257@hotmail.com
    Many thanks
    Alun Jones

    Ps i have pictures if you need to see.

    • i have bought many hindenburg items and would be interested in purchasing a set or maybe all of them from you- my email is seancannon36@aol.com send me pics and your info and see if we can work out a fair price, if you sell it at any auction site, they take a chunk of % from you

  31. hey, i was wondering if you know more about the deaths of the people. such as what ones were women and children and how many died from jumping out and so on

    please respond, this would help me out alot

  32. Barry,

    I have a letter from the 1936 Olympic Basketball team that was sent to my dad from Berlin and it came over on the Hindenburg. As I am a coin collector, I was wondering if you knew of any German coins or commemoratives with the Hindenberg(airship/ not the man) on them? Thanx


  33. Hi Barry,

    My eight-year-old is fascinated by the Hindenburg, and wants memorabilia for his upcoming birthday. I bought what was said to be be a tiny piece of duralumin shaved off a salvaged piece. It came with a printed paper guaranteeing authenticity. But of course anyone can print up a pretty piece of paper, so I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the probability of it being authentic. I just paid ten dollars for it, and it was mounted nicely on a photo of the Hindenburg, so its really worth the money just for the “cool” factor. But it would be even better if I could really believe it really is real. :)

    Also, I’ve been looking for letters sent from the Hindenburg. I read your earlier comments about looking on Ebay, which I’ve been doing, but I’m not sure how I am to know it was on the Hindenburg. Is there a particular post mark I should be looking for?

    Thanks so much for your time.

  34. Hi Barry,

    My 8 year old is fascinated by the Hindenburg, and wants memorabilia for his upcoming birthday. I just bought what was said to be a tiny piece of duralumin off ebay. It came with a letter of authenticity, but of course any one can print out a pretty piece of paper. It only cost $10 and was mounted on a picture, so it was worth the money anyway, but it would be nice if I could think it might be really real. I wanted your thoughts about the probability that it could be authentic.

    Also, I am wanting to buy some letters that were sent from the Hindenburg. I’ve been searching on Ebay, but not sure what to be looking for. How do I know if they have been sent from the Hindenburg? Is there a special postmark I should be looking for?

    Thanks so much for your time.

    • Hi S: I think giving history to your 8 year old is a fantastic gift. Your instincts are correct about never really knowing what you are buying off of ebay. Even with ‘Letters of Authenticity’ it is impossible for the average person (and many experts) to truly know if what you have is real or a fake. True provenance about an item shows the line of ownership and history of the piece and is ‘trackable’ back to the point of origin.
      In any case, I like to stay positive, so believe in what you’ve bought and let your child believe in it too. If it keeps him interested in the subject that is very important. Regarding your interest in letters that were carried on the Hindenburg, there are many of these available on ebay. Tens of thousands of pieces were carried on the Hindenburg during its brief year in service. If you search under HINDENBURG COVERS (a cover being the envelope) you can find many listings. I briefly checked out what is currently listed and there are quite a few. Many are overpriced right now (especially the ones shown as post dated on 1937….the last flight of the Hindenburg). But if you read the fine print, there were over 50,000 letters carried on board the Hindenburg on its final flight but many dropped off at various stops in Germany prior to crossing the Atlantic. These are still excellent pieces to have (and all look genuine (based on the ones I have in my collection). But I think the price tag is high. For your child, I’d look at ones from 1936 (I may be mistaken but I believe there were around 12 or so Atlantic crossings of the Hindenburg that year). I’ll send you a link to a couple of listings I found that are in a good price range and have elements on the them that identify them clearly as having flown on the Hindenburg.
      Let me know what you come up with. I’m interested in hearing. Also, if your child writes to tell me how they feel about their growing collection, I’ll be happy to publish it here too.

  35. I have a triangular, aprox 1 foot long girder from the Hindenburg picked up at the crash site by Navy personell & have the letter of authenticity. Trying to estimate value. Any suggetsions? Don Lambert (352) 621-8020. sharollambertsrocketmail@yahoo.com.

    • Hi Don: Thanks for your question. As always, I have to be honest with folks who approach me with questions about estimating values on artifacts. Up front, I am not qualified to properly put a value on a historical item. Like anyone, I can guess, but so can anyone else. So I just like to make it clear that I am not the right person to ask if you want a ‘proper’ answer. I would not want to lead you astray.

      I can tell you this. Proving that an artifact is real has become a very difficult thing to do. I deal mostly in the world of the Lincoln Assassination nowadays and some of the biggest artifacts in this circle are the New York Herald from July 8, 1865 (announcing Lincoln’s assassination the day before), the Booth Wanted/Reward posters from April 20, 1865 and the Ford’s Theatre Playbill of April 14, 1865. There are so many fakes and duplicates that have been created since 1865 that proving someone has the ‘real deal’ is extremely hard to do. Some of these fakes were not created to be fraudulent, but over time, they fall into the same category of ‘non-original replicas’. People find these things in the attics, or have had them in their family for years believing that they are real. When they find out they are not, they go into denial. But these fakes are usually easily proven and regardless of the emotional attachment that the owner has to it, their value is low to almost nothing. To analyze these kinds of fakes, you need to know about the paper they were printed on, who printed them, the inks, the typesetting used, the ‘mistakes’ found in the original printings to compare with, etc. etc. etc. Even if they come with letters of authenticity, these too are immediately questioned as to their validity. These have also been faked for years. The sports memorabilia industry was one of the worst hit with fakes of these types.
      So people and collectors have become very cautious about claims of authentic artifacts.

      I’m sorry to be such a downer to start off with. Reality can be unpleasant. However, there are real artifacts out there too. You believe your piece to be the genuine article. You have the provenance (written proof) and the artifact itself. Collectors will also want to know your story. How did you obtain the piece. Is there a clear trail of the artifact from the day of the wreck to your front door. This can really help to determine authenticity when a letter of authenticity on its own will not. Do you have a history of the Navy man who gave the letter. His credibility will be questioned. It all sounds so harsh I know, but the trust is just not there anymore and skeptecism is rampant. You need to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you have is genuine if you expect someone to pay top dollar for it.
      If you have not done this yet, I’d suggest you start off by photographing the piece in extreme detail. Photograph it from every angle, with lots of close ups. Any manufacturer’s mark will be very important. Any markings whatsoever should be focused on. These are key to proving their artifact is genuine. Even if no manufacturing marks exist, still take photos and make accurate dimensions of the piece. Draw it and put the dimensions on it. A true collector will know that the accurate configuration of the girders. Again, it’s one more clue that may help someone verify the authenticity when they compare it to other known real pieces of the same thing.

      So let’s jump ahead and assume your piece is genuine and can be proven so. You need to find someone in the know who can appraise it fairly for you. You’ve seen Pawn Stars on television or Antiques Roadshow. They bring in experts who know the market and place a value on them. Remember, the value they give is not the price you will eventually get from the pawn shop. In Pawn Stars, they are in the pawn broker business. They need to buy low and sell high. So when you see the estimated value of the artifacts, these are usually the prices they expect to sell them at. They will try to get it from you for less so they make a profit. If you can find a buyer yourself, you can likely get the smae money. But most people don’t have access to that collectors’ network.

      So your dilemma is how to get a fair appraisal. Number one rule. Do your homework….and I can see that you are already underway with that. Go on line and do searchers on similar artifacts. Check out ebay (I have seen similar items on there from time to time) and see what these artifacts ‘sold’ for (not listed for). Check out other online auction sites. This type of research will give you a general idea of what the market will currently bear. The best thing that you could find is a buyer who “wants to believe that your artifact is real” and must have it at any cost. Sounds silly, but they are out there. As you can see by some of my other postings here, there are people who really want Hindenburg artifacts but either can’t find them or afford them. When you can arrange appraisals (or opinions), don’t settle for just one or two. Get as many as makes sense. Throw the lowest and highest OUT. The ones in the middle are most likely the correct range to consider.

      There were literally ‘miles’ of girder in the Hindenburg and much of it was collected by souvenir hunters after the crash. So there was a glut in the market for some time. But it has been 75 years since the disaster. Being that the 75th anniversary of the disaster just past this month, people are in tune with it again. Now is a great time to strike if you can move quickly. Of course I’m assuming you are looking to sell it. You may just be wanting to know its worth, and that is great too. Whatever your motivation, now is a good time to find out. Hindenburg collectibles are always a hot ticket and a motivated buyer who ‘just has to have it for their collection’ will not be shy about paying a good price for it.

      I apologize if I was more preachy, then helpful, but I always believe people should know the reality of artifact estimating. I have been involved with the museum industry for over 25 years and my experiences have taught me a lot. Please let me know what you find out. You might want to check out a great website on airships which includes the Hindenburg http://www.airships.net/hindenburg. Dan Grossman runs the site and has a far better knowledge of the subject then I do. He may be able to guide you in your search.

      I hope I was able to be somewhat helpful to you.
      Good luck.

      • Barry, Thank you very much for your prompt reply & all the great info. Thus far yours is the best website by far. Have found a 1″ piece on ebay for $ 380.00. As you say, stay in the middle. We would be able to most likely contact the origional owner. I can’t find the excellent airship website you speak of? Can you please list him again for all of us? We are enjoying your site & all is a great read. Thanks for your effort & insights! Don & Sharol

      • Hi Don and Sharol. I’m so sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. My blog didn’t flag me when your message was received. It’s good to hear that you have found some pieces that gave you a price range to figure out the current value of your artifact. This is excellent and I am really looking forward to hearing about your progress.

        Regarding Dan Grossman’s site, the link should be this. I was just on the site so please let me know if the link is not working. http://www.airships.net/

  36. how much would a one inch part of it cost

  37. The framework of the Hindenburg, excepting those in the control car and the passenger compartment, are painted with a blue enamel. The girders in the Graf were painted gray or black. If it is scorched in a fire, there will be blackening and some bubbling.

    The framework will be of thin aluminum. The thicker sections will be no more than two millimeters with most about half that. The lightening holes will be “flanged” like the holes in a airplane’s wing rib for strength.

    Duralumin is any alloy with nearly 5% of copper in it. The modern equivalent is 2024 alloy. When exposed to the air, it turns to a grey-black patina.

    The original blue paint will have a percentage of lead oxide in it. If there is any titanium oxides present, it probably is not authentic, since titanium oxides were not used until the 1950’s.

    Duralumin “tears” when overloaded. It is harder than most common alloys like the modern 6061 commonly used in commercial products.

    Holes are either drilled or punched. Most rivet holes will be drilled, since punching induces “cracking” and fractures in duralumin.

    The most critical lightening holes are “cut” with hole saws and polished to avoid strain and cracking.

    In that era labor was less expensive. You will see all of the girder’s edges polished. They will more likely be and cut with shears with the edges polished. Curved edges will not likely be perfectly formed.

    These are a few things to look for to determine, if the piece is authentic.


  38. Hello, not sure if you will see this given the date of many of the comments on the page but I will give it a try. My grandfather’s brother was a marine stationed at Lakehurst NJ during the time of the disaster and was ordered to stand watch over the wreckage. Well just like any good marine a little scrounging won’t hurt anyone. He managed to scrounge the goggles that supposedly belonged to Max Pruss. I have them and would love to find a way to authenticate them and a possible value so any advice you have to offer would be appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: