Before she was consumed with fire, her lounges and observation decks were high-class all the way!
There are very few left alive who can remember hearing news of the Hindenburg airship tragedy. But, anyone who ever saw a photo of that fateful day will never forget those images. This, one of the most infamous explosions of a passenger vessel, remains a landmark event of the 20th century for being widely covered by the media, including the heart-wrenching description on the radio. What we don’t always realize, though, is just how nice this airship was on the inside. The instant explosion and intense fire has left us with even fewer relics from this blimp than we have from RMS Titanic. However, we do have some wonderful photographs and postcards that show us just what riding in the Hindenburg would have been like.
This luxury airliner was not only a quick way to cross the Atlantic, but was a tool of the Third Reich to promote their agenda. In the year that it operated, the Hindenburg ferried passengers between Europe and the Americas on dozens of round trips, displaying the Nazi swastika on the tail fins on each trip. The German ship had already been pressed into service dropping propaganda leaflets over large crowds in Berlin and announcing the benefits of Hitler’s power to the German people over a loudspeaker.
The lavish interior was outfitted with all kinds of amenities, including a specially-designed piano that was created to be much lighter than the average piano. We had no idea it was this nice inside!
Despite her service to the Third Reich, the ship was seen as a wonderment of the modern age and allowed to land in U.S. and Brazil. Bystanders around the world were fascinated by this huge ship, prompting crowds wherever she went. And, with a crew to passenger ratio of almost 1:2, the Hindenburg offered high standards of service for those who traveled aboard.
Surprisingly, there were actually many survivors of this tragic disaster (62 of the 97 people aboard survived).
The final voyage of the Hindenburg ended on May 6, 1937, in flames after a series of adjustments to land at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey went badly and an “electrostatic discharge” ignited the hydrogen gas that allowed the ship to float. The instant explosion was a catastrophe that has remained in public memory for its tragic and powerful imagery. But, it’s so rare that we see images from the interior of this lost airship!