Thursday, April 19, 2012

“Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic” Exhibit at the National Postal Museum

Abigail Tucker writes in the May edition of Smithsonian magazine about an exhibit at the National Postal Museum.

Called "Fire & Ice," it deals with  the crash of the hydrogen-filled zeppelin Hindenburg that crashed on May 6, 1937 in New Jersey and the largest floating post office of its day the RMS Titanic that sank on the night of April 14, 1912

According to Tucker the Hindenburg, which crashed on May 6, 1937 in New Jersey, covered much of its operating costs by providing the first regular trans-Atlantic airmail service. Of the 17,000-odd pieces of Hindenburg correspondence, roughly 360 withstood the flames and are "are among the grandest prizes of philately."

She goes on to say, "The human stories tucked in with the mailbags have always fascinated Cheryl Ganz, a leading Hindenburg historian and co-curator of a new exhibition at the National Postal Museum. In addition to many letters and postcards, the exhibit includes other frail bits of paper that survived the inferno, some of which have never been displayed before, such as a receipt for two in-flight martinis. There’s also a reproduction of the only known final flight map, which has the route from Frankfurt, Germany, to Lakehurst, New Jersey, painstakingly traced in pencil."

Ganz is quoted as saying, "“We are bringing together these artifacts, these salvaged items, many of them reunited for the first time since they were picked out of the wreckage.We can piece together bits of the story that have never been told.”

Tucker says that no mail was recovered from the Titanic disaster although the postal clerks made a heroic effort to drag mailbags to higher decks. The exhibit includes a set of mail room keys and a watch recovered from their bodies.

To learn more, click here.

To visit the on-line "Fire & Ice" exhibit, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM