We recently came across the fascinating story behind the LZ127 blanket, made by German blanket-producer JAG Zoeppritz. The original Zoeppritz company has a long heritage and was founded 1828 in Mergelstetten, Germany by the two brothers Jacob and Georg Zoeppritz. Which inspired the ‘JAG’, as in Jacob And Georg, in the contemporary JAG Zoeppritz. Coincidentally 100 years after Zoeppritz was founded, in 1928, the events happened which led to the now legendary status given to the LZ127 blanket which recently was taken in production once again.
In September 1928 the Luftschiff LZ 127, also called ‘Graf Zeppelin’, took its first journey. The new airship was more luxurious than any of the previous produced airships, with the renowned blanket-producer Zoeppritz creating an exclusive blanket for it named LZ127. A couple of months after Graf Zeppelin was first airborn, on the 11th of October 1928, the airship left Friedrichshafen in Germany to take 20 passengers and 40 crew members to Lakehurst in the USA. Due to the bad weather it was decided to take the longer more southerly route.
On the morning of the third day, while the passengers were having their breakfast, the Zeppelin, travelling to the south of the Azoren, went full steam ahead into a wall of dark threatening clouds. The storm dropped the front bow and Lady Hay-Drummond-Hay, an English journalist, who was on board described the scene as complete chaos; the table, chairs and the delicate blue and white porcelain were thrown around. Part of the canvas of the lower stabilizer fin on the port side was torn away, leaving the shredded pieces of material to slap the side of the ship.
Six volunteers, with tools and secured by ropes, climb into the inter space of the fin, which had its floor partially torn away. The shreds were cut away and secured in a five and a half hours operation. The hastily sewn together Zoeppritz wool blankets, were pulled over the hole and secured by ropes. It was a dangerous endeavour especially as it was taken place over the ocean. After 111 hours and 44 minutes, the Luftschiff LZ 127 safely landed in Lakehurst and was exuberantly celebrated. The courageous men and in no small feat the blankets have proven to the world, that an airship can also cross the ocean.