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    Sale 2241 | Lot 5
    Price Realized: $2,160With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2241 Lot 5

      (AIRSHIPS.) Schetter, Clyde E. Journal of a blimp promotional tour, written by a Goodyear publicity agent. Manuscript journal, 61 pages. 12mo, original cloth, minor wear, manuscript title 'Airship Log 1' and partial sticker reading 'Released by Navy' on front cover; internally clean and legible. Vp, 6 July 1929 to January 1932
      Estimate $1,000-1,500

      As airship travel gripped the nation's imagination, Goodyear launched a fleet of six airships to tour the country. Some visits were short day trips from their home base near Akron, OH, while others entailed month-long tours in the East, South, and as far west as California. The ships appeared at county fairs, air shows, and other events, taking distinguished guests and paying passengers for short pleasure cruises. The blimps also served in what has become their most enduring role, floating overhead at football games.
      Clyde E. Schetter (1904-1996) of Goodyear's publications office flew aboard the airships to handle publicity and local arrangements. His hand-written notes describe dangerous voyages, flying mishaps, and encounters with a few surly locals. Usually, the blimps were greeted by cheering crowds who had never seen an airship, let alone ridden in one. Celebrity passengers included Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., German Zeppelin mogul Hugo Eckener, football coach Robert Zuppke (who was dropped off at the University of Illinois stadium as a stunt) and, most notably, Charles A. Lindbergh, who Schetter pronounced a 'pretty good stick' (31 August 1929). A list of crew members concludes with 'female student Miss Helen V. Cox' of Hagerstown, MD, an early aviatrix.
      On a few occasions, the airships were imperiled due to weather or malfunctions. While flying directly over downtown Lancaster, PA, a passenger 'either threw or lost his Panama straw hat overboard . . . tearing a hole about 18 inches in diameter. . . . The Vigilant was crippled by the tear in the bullonette, losing shape at once and becoming hard to control. . . . The nose of the ship was caved in, the tail sagged, and the belly wrinkled badly.' The pilot had to dump gasoline in order to land safely, and the ship was laid up for two days for repairs (13 August 1929). In another accident, a ground crew member 'had his left foot practically severed when it was struck by a propeller on the starboard side . . . [and] barely missed getting struck in the head' (12 August 1930). This fascinating journal gives a real sense of the marvels and dangers of airship life during its brief heyday.
      --"Training Manual, K-Type Airships, United States Navy." Mimeograph in original binder, about 300 pages, inscribed on first page by Schetter as Lieutenant Commander. Moffett Field, CA, September 1942.

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $2,160