POSTCARD – FLOWN ON THE AIRSHIP GRAF ZEPPELIN – 1928
This is a fascinating postcard that was flown onboard the Graf Zeppelin from the USA to Germany in 1928, the Graf Zeppelin’s (LZ-127) first year of service. The postcard’s obverse depicts a viaduct and downtown Youngstown, Ohio, in 1928. The obverse also features a postal rubber stamp for Friedrichshafen 1 November 1928, which was when the postcard arrived in Germany after its Transatlantic flight. [Friedrichshafen was the Zeppelin Company’s home base, as well as where the Graf Zeppelin was stationed.
The postcard’s reverse reveals it was posted in Youngstown, Ohio on 27 October 1928 by U.S. Air Mail. Its next stop was Lakehurst, New Jersey, the U.S. home of both the Graf Zeppelin and the Hindenburg. [The latter airship exploded above Lakehurst in May 1937 with many lives lost]. As previously mentioned, the postcard arrived in Germany on 1 November, from where it was transferred to the addressee in Nurnberg.
Much of the postcard’s reverse is filled with a variety of U.S. Air Mail postage stamps. [Interestingly, scheduled air mail in the USA began in 1918]. The five stamps total $.55 ($8.12 in 2018 dollars), which was a princely sum for mailing a postcard, even via a zeppelin. [Air mail service to Germany in 2018 is only $1.15]! In addition to the cancellation marks on the five postage stamps, a large rubber stamp at the postcard’s bottom declares that it was flown by the Graf Zeppelin.
The Graf Zeppelin’s first flight was on 18 September 1928, which means this flight occurred about five weeks later. The Graf Zeppelin had a long, safe, distinguished history. It made 590 different flights (including several around-the-world circuits) and covered more than one million miles before its retirement in 1937 after the Hindenburg’s crash. The Graf Zeppelin was dismantled in 1940 for Germany’s WW II war effort.
This is a most historical postcard that is bargain-priced.