01 April 2012

Special Cover on Railways..



150 Years of Locomotive Workshop, Jamalpur (Bihar)


Date of Issue : 8 February 2012



 Screenshot_3 : Ashwani Dubey - Gorakhpur

Club News


Smithsonian's National Postal Museum Opens New "Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic" Exhibit


Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic

Open March 22, 2012 to January 6, 2014

"Fire & Ice:Hindenburg and Titanic," an innovative new exhibit, opened  at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. The exhibit brings together two marvels of transportation. Titanic and Hindenburg served demands for rapid worldwide communication and transportation. Both operated as the world's largest mobile post offices. Each in its day promised the fastest possible worldwide mail service. Each offered onboard gentility and opulence. Each met a tragic end.



As the largest, fastest, and most glamorous ships of their eras, Hindenburg and Titanic share many similarities. The human tragedy associated with each stunned the world . . . a shock that affects people to this day. Both offered travelers elegant accommodations, and both provided postal services. In each era, the public trusted modern technology to provide safety and speed. And as anniversaries of the disasters are marked in 2012—seventy-five years since Hindenburg burned and a century since Titanic sank—many questions remain unanswered.

The Zeppelin Company of Friedrichshafen, Germany, completed the 804-foot long LZ-129 Hindenburg in 1936. Financed in part by the Nazi regime, the rigid airship, designed to use non-flammable helium for lift, confirmed Germany’s technological prowess as Adolf Hitler prepared for war. The U.S. refused to sell helium to the Zeppelin Company, which instead used highly flammable hydrogen for Hindenburg’s lift. On May 6, 1937, carrying ninety-seven passengers and crew, Hindenburg burst into flames at Lakehurst, New Jersey. The disaster destroyed the ship in thirty-four seconds, ending the magnificent era of lighter-than-air commercial travel.

Between 1909 and 1911, Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Ireland, built the massive, 882-foot long Titanic for Britain’s White Star Line, owned by American J.P. Morgan. On April 10, 1912, the lavish Titanic left Southampton, England, on its maiden voyage. Bound for New York, the ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic late night April 14, and sank in fewer than three hours.  Of its 2,229 passengers and crew, only 712 survived, predominantly women and children.


Titanic was the world's largest floating post office of its day, and Hindenburg still holds the record as the world's largest flying post office. This year-2012-the National Postal Museum raises visitors' awareness of the two giant ships' postal operations with its new exhibit. And this year-2012-both mark anniversaries. Hindenburg burned 75 years ago, and Titanic sank 100 years ago. The exhibition will be open through Jan. 6, 2014.

Exhibit highlights include a very rare piece of mail sent from Titanic and burnt mail salvaged from Hindenburg. Other items include mail, postcards, menus, photographs, keys from Titanic's post office and the salvaged postmark device from Hindenburg.

"Although many visitors to "Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic" will be very familiar with some of the iconic imagery shown, I believe that they will be amazed to see documents, artifacts and photographs that have never been publicly displayed before," said Cheryl R. Ganz, museum curator for the Hindenburg-related aspects of the exhibit. "These salvaged objects and newly discovered photos bring the story to life in new ways."

The exhibit is organized into themes that compare and contrast the large, fast, glamorous ships: 20th-century icons, technological advancements, life onboard, mail ships and disaster. Survivor stories portray the human tragedy associated with each shocking disaster: shocks that reverberate to this day.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reflect on the hundredth anniversary of Titanic's sinking in the presence of real objects from the ship and her passengers," said Daniel Piazza, museum curator for the Titanic-related aspects of the exhibit. "A century later, her brief life and tragic end still haunt and captivate us."

Visitors will be able to recreate the onboard letter-writing experience by applying a cachet to postcards and mail that identify the item as from the exhibition. Stamps and a postmark are available in the U.S. Postal Service philatelic shop in the museum to post the cards. A booklet available in the museum's gift shop and online will accompany the exhibit.

A virtual edition of the exhibit is available on the museum's website: www.postalmuseum.si.edu/fireandice.

: Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

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