How the Hindenburg killed an entire industry

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  • Published on:  Friday, March 1, 2019
  • A routine press photo-op in 1937 ended up recording the explosion of the greatest airship ever built.Become a member of the Vox Video Lab! thanks to David Fowler, who generously allowed us to use his drawing of the plan of the Hindenburg (00:13 of the video). See more of his work here: May 1937, the airship Hindenburg burned up while approaching Lakehurst, New Jersey, on its first flight to the US that year. A flying symbol of pride for Nazi Germany, the Hindenburg was the biggest and most elaborate zeppelin ever built. At a time when airplanes were only carrying one or two people across the Atlantic Ocean, the Hindenburg was flying paid passengers, who enjoyed its dining room, reading room, passenger lounge, and even smoking room. It was an iconic luxury vessel, but it was filled with hydrogen, a flammable gas. And when it rushed its landing in New Jersey, it ended up exploding in front of a waiting group of newsreel cameras and becoming the first aviation disaster filmed as it was taking place. Sam Shere’s photo of the moment just before the ship was entirely engulfed is now an iconic snapshot that manages to perfectly frame the entire disaster.Darkroom is a new series from Vox producer Coleman Lowndes that digs into stories of the past, one photograph at a time. Watch all the episodes here: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing.Previous headline: The first disaster caught on is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out our full video catalog: Vox on Facebook: Twitter:
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  • Vox

     3 months ago

    This is the second episode of Darkroom, our new series from producer Coleman Lowndes that digs into stories of the past, one photograph at a time.If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch the first episode here: Friday!

  • Oma Rumunna

     2 months ago

    Can we talk about modern airships?

  • EightThreeEight

     3 months ago

    "Luckily, in the history of humanity, nothing bad has ever happened from lighting hydrogen on fire."- Mark Watney, The Martian

  • Ark Royal

     3 months ago

    interesting fact:There are plans to bring the Zepplins back with brand new systems and done in a much safer way.

  • Abraham Wilberforce


    @Drehkreuz 57 Fun Fact, Lake Constanze or better "der Bodensee" is quite a beautiful Place and the region where the first zepplins were build.The is a nice museum there I visited it with my parents when I was a child.

  • Drehkreuz 57

     3 days ago

    Fun fact: Zeppelins are still existent. They're flying over Lake Constanze

  • Napoleon I Bonaparte

     3 months ago


  • Joel

     21 days ago

    Adulius yep

  • K_Gaming

     1 months ago

    @de sp gast nederland

  • cyrilio

     3 months ago

    Keep these mini docs coming. Love them

  • Ketan Agnihotri

     3 months ago

    *Important fact* : Indiana Jones left that plane with his father, _saved his and his father's life..._

  • Angela Kindness

     29 days ago

    ree spoiler alerts

  • Alexander Toons

     1 months ago


  • Pivotkid85

     3 months ago

    i really don't know how anyone felt comfortable riding in a goddamn BALLOON.

  • Александр Серый

     8 days ago

    Fill it with helium instead of hydrogen and it will be safer than any plane

  • Ingeniero ALEMAN

     24 days ago

    Different to a Boeing at a Zeppelin you have a high chance to survive any crash.

  • Morty Sanchez

     3 months ago

    Watching that always makes my skin crawl.We have the distance of years behind us, but those people died horrible deaths on camera.

  • Morty Sanchez

     3 months ago

    @ShePudding Led Zeppelin's first album is among my favorites and it uses this image as its cover art...never liked that fact

  • ShePudding

     3 months ago

    Yeah... It was hard to watch. Thinking about how I would have reacted... Too afraid to jump. Others pushing past you; pushing you down. First the rooms, people and anything not nailed down turns sideways, and then, if you’re not lucky, the fire burns your skin off your bones and collapses your lungs. You can only hope these people suffocated suddenly, over mere seconds... And those deaths will be replayed for years for education... entertainment... profit. I mean, the video itself is morally neutral....

  • ? malpertuis

     3 months ago

    The photos of the other exploded zepplins are (strangely, tragically) beautiful.

  • Pika chu

     1 months ago


  • tomstonemale

     2 months ago

    They looked like beached whales

  • bunnyfreakz

     1 months ago

    Hidenburg had a smoking room, Jesus Christ. It's like smoking room on top of gas tanker.

  • Abraham Wilberforce

     18 days ago

    The smoking room was specially build to not leak any spark of any kind. This is why they had one designated smoming room unlike smoking bascially everywhere, what was the standard at the time.Also the smoking room is below the hydrogen balloon so the quickly rising hydrogen would not reach it.