Ferdinand's Scrapbook

By Mark Steadman

01. Jan. 2006

In connection with the new exhibition "The Airship is Coming!" Post & Tele Museum is publishing a book of the same name. Not a traditional exhibition catalogue, but a dramatized and richly illustrated narrative for the entire family.
 

The jacket of Ferdinand's scrapbook titled "The Airship is Coming!" 

The story begins on Thursday the 14th of May 1931 when the boy Ferdinand has gone out to see the Graf Zeppelin over Copenhagen just as his father did when the zeppelin Hansa was the first to arrive in 1912. Father and sun are both fascinated with the zeppelins and read as much as they can them, but most of all they are both collecting everything that has to do with zeppelins, and as time goes by Ferdinand's scrapbook grows to contain stories from a number of Danes who experienced the zeppelin phenomenon for themselves from 1912
to 1937.
 

On this page in Ferdinand's scrapbook we find a picture of the airship, Hansa, overflying Copen-hagen in 1912 as well as some letters that were
on board.  

Three Danish Witnesses

The Danish reporter Per Pryd settled into his seat in the darkness of the zeppelin's passenger gondola. It was 1912 and the zeppelin Hansa was about to embark upon the first international passenger flight by an airship. Its destination was Copenhagen and Per Pryd had been asked by the Copenhagen-based newspaper Politiken to be their ‘Flying Re-porter' and write an article whilst onboard the Han-sa during its historic flight.

In 1931 the famous Graf Zeppelin appeared above the spires and rooftops of Copenhagen amidst the cheers and waves of the entire city. On board at the time was the Danish reporter Ebbe Munck whose article for Berlingske Tidende was sealed inside a steel tube and thrown out of Graf Zeppelin's window whilst it was over the city. The article appeared in the newspaper the following day as the zeppelin fascination swept across the nation.

In 1937 the retired Danish Banker Hans Vinholt, was so interested in zeppelins that he had booked a flight onboard the largest zeppelin in the world, the Hindenburg, across the Atlantic just for the experi-ence. As the excited passengers prepared to disembark, Hans felt a tremor and realised something had gone terribly wrong. A few minutes later the Hindenburg was enveloped in flames - and Hans Vinholt one of the few survivors who could tell his story to the outside world.
 

Hans Vinholt's Zeppelin Scrapbook.
Photo: Jan Friis.



 

Rare Pictures

As Ferdinand fills his scrapbook, the history of the zeppelins unfolds with the dramatic narratives about the gigantic airships which conveyed pas-sengers and mail all over the world. From the pages of Ferdinand's scrapbook we do not only get the unique and sometimes dramatic real life stories, but also a wealth of exceptional illustrations of events and objects collected for the exhibition. "The Airship is Coming!" is thus both an exhibition and a book, Ferdinand's scrapbook.

 

The Dane Hans Vinholt was on board the Hinden-burg when it crashed in 1937. He survived. Here he has been photographed at an American hos-pital. His experiences are described in details in "The Airship is Coming!" Photo: Ettie Vinholt. 

The book "The Airship is Coming!" written by Mark Steadman and Martin Rovang Jensen contains 95 pages and no less than 170 illustrations. The book has been published in both a Danish and an Eng-lish version and is available from the Museum Shop at DKK 149 (+ p&p).
 

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