Airship America, Spitzbergen, circa 1906

Airship America, Spitzbergen, circa 1906


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Airship 'America', Spitzbergen, circa 1906. Commissioned by US journalist and explorer Walter Wellman (1858-1934), and built in France for his expedition to reach the North Pole, it was brought by ship to the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen in July 1906. Attempts to erect it failed. After being shipped back to France and modified, returns to Spitsbergen and brief flights followed in 1907 and 1909, by which time others claimed to have reached the North Pole. The 'America' was lost the following year (1910) as its crew attempted the first trans-Atlantic crossing. This photograph is from the Bain News Service, one of the USA's earliest news picture libraries.

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