Old New York In Photos #139 – Zeppelin And The Woolworth Building

The Dirigible Los Angeles Flying Near The Woolworth Building – 1929

Graf Zeppelin’s Sister – Los Angeles Joins In Great Reception For Dr. Eckener
New York – Photo shows : The dirigible Los Angeles, older sister of the Graf Zeppelin, flying above the Woolworth Building during the reception for Dr. Hugo Eckener commander of the Graf. Photo: Underwood & Underwood August 30, 1929.

Although it is not readily apparent from this photograph, the dirigible USS Los Angeles at 660 feet from end to end is comparable to the Woolworth Building’s height of 792 feet. The Woolworth Building completed in 1913 would retain the title “tallest building in the world” for only another few months. The completion of 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building in 1930 would both surpass the Woolworth. In New York’s race skyward, the Empire State Building topped them all in 1931 at 1,250  feet.

The USS Los Angeles was constructed by Germany from 1923-24 for the Unites States as part of war reparations. The Los Angeles was commissioned by the United States Navy for experimental work in 1924 such as picking up and dropping off airplanes in mid-flight. The dirigible was decommissioned in 1932 and broken up for scrap in 1939.

Dr. Hugo Eckener (1868-1954) was given the New York star treatment that Atlantic aviators of the era would typically receive- a ticker tape parade up Broadway.

Sidenote -Cost of Living.
The front page article describing Eckener’s visit in The Binghamton News also mentions gasoline prices have been cut by the Standard Oil company. The new price of a gallon of gasoline in the New York metropolitan area would be 14 cents a gallon distributed from tank wagons and 16 cents at service stations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.