Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Zeppelins

Monday, December 22, 2014
Partly sunny, seasonable temperatures

The Zeppelins

  Once upon a time,log ago,there were these gigantic football-shaped (American football) that flew across the ocean and across countries,and they were called Zeppelins. Their namesake derived from the inventor Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin from Germany. He came up with the idea in 1875, seriously developed and planned the details and design in 1893, and subsequently patented in Germany in 1895, and later in  1899 in the USA. Sadly of course, it was used in WWI to drop bombs on Great Britain and killed people.  The category of this lighter-than-air machine was called a rigid airship,but everyone called them zeppelins.

   They were filled with hydrogen gas, and as most people know,there was a terrible explosion of the airship Hindenburg in Lakehurst,New Jersey (USA) on May 6, 1937. 35 of the 97 passengers and crew died, while 1 ground crew member also perished. Many theories abound, and even a movie was made as to what might have happened. The official cause of the disaster was attributed to static electricity in the air at the time. This ignited the volatile hydrogen gas leading to a massive explosion. Non-official and speculative stories later arose leading to suspicions of a plan to sabotage and destroy the airship.

   What I specifically like about these old toys is that there was lots and lots of "poetic license" when it came to making the toys. The term "poetic license" simply means that a writer  or in this case a toy designer "deviates" from the normal way of writing or design of the actual real item (the zeppelin) and comes up with a different story or design. I'm going to present several posts on these toys because there are so many different zeppelins. 

The selection of toys for today's post are the same as my usual method of selection - by the highest final bidding price at auction. However, even the least costly toys are fascinating to look at.  I can;t even imagine some small child living near an airport or in a large city seeing these huge airships moving in the sky.

In the case of Mr. Louis Marx' entry into this type of toy, he chose a game.
Louis Marx at one time produced 1/3 of all the toys that were made in the USA!

THe original photos were small-sized, so it's hard to see detail by looking just at the post. If you double-click on any image,you will be redirected to the slide view mode of Google Blogger. Then you'll be able to see th e4 small green airplanes hanging from this Buffalo Toy zeppelin.

If you had read my recent post on the Buffalo Toys racing cars, you would have read and seen their
patented pull design ring that you can see at the back of the last photo below.
Pulling the ring would create built-up energy that allowed the toy to move on its own.

I always laugh when I see a cast iron toy, especially an airplane, but in this case zeppelins. 
The irony of having very heavy toys made into gigantic airships that lifted off the ground by themselves is just "funny".

If I understand thee mechanics of this toy correctly,a child lifts the zeppelin and counterbalance ball up a spiral vertical column. Gravity cause the 2 to fall, but because the column is spirally notched, the airship slowly descends to the bottom.

Simply ingenious, and of course that's why I like these toy airships - there's just so many different designs and manufacturers that made them all so differently.

Real airships never had gigantic propellers as this one has at the end of it.
Of course, being a toy, that was allowed.

Even the  companies that produced penny toys got into the business of producing these zeppelins. This toy is tiny, but for a penny some child could have fun playing with it as the real thing passed by overhead.

And once again, the design of the toy had nothing to do with accuracy of the real zeppelin. 
I doubt that giant propellers on the side of a zeppelin would move the airship forward. Also if the weather was stormy, could the these giant propellers possibly cut into the steel frame and skin cover of the airship?

Of course, this was a toy,and imagination and "poetic license" were allowed!

That's the fun of toys - they don't have to be real to have fun with!

Thanks for dropping by,and as always,
have a great part of the ay or night,
wherever you may be,

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