"Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic" Exhibit Opens


By Cheryl Ganz, Philately Department

The NPM’s new exhibit Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic opened on March 22 and remains open until January 6, 2014. Over seventy-five persons worked on the exhibition, led by the NPM exhibit team. Among those cutting the ribbon was Frank Ward, member of Lakehurst Naval Air Station ground crew on May 6, 1937, when Hindenburg burned.

Born in 1920, Mr. Ward is now 92 years old and one of the few still living who witnessed the disaster. He recalls that, as the airship silently approached, he admired Hindenburg’s captain and thought he’d like that job. Then suddenly the sky turned red. Hindenburg was aflame and falling. Like others of the ground crew, Ward sprinted away to escape the intense heat, debris, and billowing black smoke. With a ghastly tragedy unfolding before his eyes, he ran back, hoping to help victims.

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Cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony (left to right): Roxanne Symko Smith, project manager; Cheryl Ganz, curator of Hindenburg; Frank Ward, Hindenburg ground crew member; Stephen M. Kearney, Manager, Stamp Program, USPS; Eric Chapman, exhibits specialist; Daniel Piazza, curator of Titanic.

Frank Ward discussed the disaster and rescue attempts in his interview with Fire & Ice curator Cheryl Ganz, conducted in 2011. View a portion of the interview in the gallery with other Hindenburg and Titanic video clips or see it at: Survivors.

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The NPM exhibit team (left to right): Eric Chapman, Roxanne Symko Smith, Kim Skerritt, Linda Edquist, Cheryl Ganz, Kate Collen, Marshall Emery, and Daniel Piazza. Missing are Bill Lommel and Patricia Raynor.

Cheryl Ganz

About the Author
Cheryl R. Ganz, Ph.D., is an internationally known philatelic expert, author, exhibitor and researcher specializing in aerophilately and zeppelin mail. She joined the staff of the National Postal Museum after earning a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago and became chief curator of philately in February 2008. Ganz has curated an impressive array of exhibitions and brought the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery to life.