By John Duggan, Henry Cord Meyer (auth.)
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Additional info for Airships in International Affairs, 1890–1940
Zeppelin deftly dodged these machinations by establishing a foundation under German law, with a board of regional aristocrats and businessmen, himself at the head, and legally seated at Friedrichshafen. 20 As the Count manoeuvred to secure his national gift in the Zeppelin Foundation, an event occurred that immediately dramatized the new importance of open national politics. A major consequence of the secular epiphany of August 1908 was the frequently expressed conviction that new insights and ideals had been awakened in the German nation.
A Company for the Promotion of Airship Flight was established in Stuttgart in 1898, its shareholders predominantly from Württemberg and notably buttressed by Berg’s large subscription and the direct involvement of his aluminium enterprise. Nevertheless, the Count still had to underwrite more than half of the company. He transferred his activities to Manzell, near Friedrichshafen, where the King had supplied lake-front property for construction facilities. Curious tourists appeared in the spring and summer of 1900 to observe from boats the great skeleton German Precedents 25 being assembled and covered at the shed aﬂoat on the lake.
Here they were impressed, moved, and rendered politically malleable to the efforts of the two small minority groups. The power-seekers tried to hitch their political wagons to the luminous airship star. The power-holders focused some of their energy even more directly to manipulate the airship magic to preserve or enhance their dominant command. There were also a few examples of governance in business, as in state affairs, where airship imagery played a signiﬁcant role. Indeed, here the ring closes: from individual and crowd fascination, by way of airship scarcity, through the airship awareness of powerseekers, to the active development and thrust of airship propaganda in the ways of the power-holders.
Airships in International Affairs, 1890–1940 by John Duggan, Henry Cord Meyer (auth.)