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First Zeppelin under construction. Early 20th-century artwork of the metal frame of the first Zepplin airship, the LZ1 (128 metres in length), being assembled in its floating hanger, Lake Constance, Switzerland. German inventor Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917) conceived the idea of confining a hot air balloon within a cigar-shaped aluminium structure, with an internal combustion engine and a propeller. The first flight of LZ1 took place on 2 July 1900. From 1900 to 1939, 52,000 people travelled 2 million kilometres in such airships. Artwork from the 25th volume (first period of 1900) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.
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