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Fire! The Hindenburg Disaster: Photos

Postal Clerk Bill Schneider

Bill Schneider
Bill Schneider was a postal clerk in Rahway, New Jersey. He traveled to Lakehurst to witness the ten Hindenburg arrivals in 1936. He collected mail flown by zeppelins, and crew members often autographed his mail. Schneider developed friendships with the crew and, as an amateur photographer, often photographed them.
Courtesy Bill Schneider Photograph Collection

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Hindenburg's Approach, May 6, 1937

Hindenburg's Approach, May 6, 1937
On Schneider’s visit to Lakehurst the evening of May 6, 1937, he took a series of photographs of the approach.
Courtesy Bill Schneider Photograph Collection

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Hindenburg Bursts Into Flames

Hindenburg burst into flames
When Hindenburg burst into flames, his hand-held camera captured his sense of horror as his hands shook uncontrollably.
Courtesy Bill Schneider Photograph Collection

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Hindenburg Bursts Into Flames

Hindenburg burst into flames
Moments after Hindenburg’s bow lines dropped, eyewitnesses saw a red glow ahead of the upper tail fin, and then the ship burst into flames.
Courtesy National Air and Space Museum

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Hindenburg Crashes to Earth

Hindenburg crashes to earth
A blaze of hydrogen raged within Hindenburg, destroying the ship in thirty-four seconds. The rapidly disintegrating airship crashed to earth tail first.
Courtesy National Air and Space Museum

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Hindenburg Landing Crew Rushes to Help Save Lives

Hindenburg's landing crew rushes to help save lives
Landing crew ran into the intense heat to help save lives. Amazingly, sixty-two of the ninety-seven persons onboard Hindenburg survived.
Courtesy National Air and Space Museum

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Hindenburg's Smoldering Wreckage

Hindenburg's smoldering wreckage
A small quantity of mail survived Hindenburg’s fire and was salvaged from the smoldering wreckage.
Courtesy anonymous

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Customs Inspectors Examine Salvaged Mail

Customs inspectors examine salvaged mail
Customs inspectors examined two kinds of Hindenburg salvaged mail: burnt mail that had been tightly packed together and, amazingly, survived the flames and unburnt, uncancelled mail (lower left) that had been in a fireproof container.
Courtesy anonymous

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