Lighter Than Air

Here we see the majestic USS Macon gliding above Seattle's Green Lake on August 22, 1934. The airship was traveling to its new station near San Francisco but took a leisurely route with time for a number of photo ops along the way. The Macon was a marvel of engineering and was designed to be a "flying aircraft carrier" with five small fighter planes. But even before the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 airships didn't have an encouraging safety record. The Macon's sister ship, the USS Akron, crashed off the coast of New Jersey the previous year with a loss of nearly all hands. The Macon too would be gone in February of 1935 when it crashed into the Pacific off the California coast near Monterey. Unlike the Akron disaster, all but two of its 76 crew members survived. The Macon's wreckage wasn't discovered until 1991 and the site is now a designated marine sanctuary.
Many of the residential houses from the era still stand today, though the area was clearly much more rural with some pastures and farms still evident. Both the baseball field and the Green Lake boathouse are present in the 1934 photo as well. The biggest change was certainly the addition of I-5 which eventually snaked through the fields in the central foreground.


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