Shenandoah Airship Fragments   Save
Ohio History Connection
Description: These five fragments of the U.S.S. Shenandoah were collected by souvenir hunters after the rigid airship crashed in Noble County in 1925. The first image shows a girder fragment that measures 11.41 by 3.93 by .78 inches (29 by 10 by 2 cm). The girder was part of the metal "skeleton" of the airships. Fabric was attached to the metal frame so that the balloon held its shape. Girders set apart rigid airships from vehicles like hot air balloons (which have no skeleton on the inside, allowing the balloon change shape frequently). This girder fragment is made out of duraluminium, a special type of aluminum meant to be more durable. The second image is a wooden brace fragment that was likely part of the gondola (passenger section) of the airship. It measures 9" by 3" by 0.2" (24 by 8.5 by 0.5 cm). The third image is a clock, most likely one of the pilot's instruments. It measures 3.14 by 3.14 inches (8 by 8 cm). The fourth image shows a fragment of a flashlight from the Shenandoah that measures 2" by 3" (5.5 by 7 cm). The final image shows a pressed paper "sanispoon," a spoon most likely found in a medical kit. It measures 5" by 1.2" (13.5 by 3.1 cm). The U.S.S. Shenandoah was the first gas-filled rigid airship built in America, and the first airship inflated with helium, an inert gas, instead of hydrogen, which is potentially explosive. On the morning of September 3, 1925, the Shenandoah was caught in a storm over Ava, Ohio. It broke apart and crashed, killing 14 crew members, including its captain, Lieutenant Commander Zachary Lansdowne (1888-1925), a native of Greenville, Ohio. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om1483_1534190_001
Subjects: Transportation; Airships; Shenandoah (Airship); Clocks & watches; Spoons; Aircraft accidents
Places: Ava (Ohio); Noble County (Ohio)