The only lighter-than-air machines that have been made that can be directed and controlled are the dirigibles (dr´-j-b'ls). Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (zp´-ln), a German, spent much of his life trying to make the dirigible a success. Largely due to his work, Germany stood first in the development of dirigibles for many years. In fact, his name was commonly given to these German machines. For a number of years Germany had regular carrying routes for the Zeppelin. Passengers and mails were carried from point to point. Some of these huge machines were 600 feet long and 50 feet in diameter. They are long, cigar-shaped, rigid balloons. The large gas bags, made into compartments, support cars swung beneath. These cars carry passengers, merchandise, or guns, and also the large motors which propel the machine. During the Great European War, the Germans used the Zeppelins to terrorize the people of England and France. They frequently crossed the English Channel to bombard British cities. From thousands of feet in the air, bombs were dropped on peaceful towns, killing men, women and children. The British and French used airplanes and anti-aircraft guns as a means of defense. Many Zeppelins were thus brought down. In a running battle the large airplanes were too speedy for the cumbrous dirigible. The French and British have also perfected large dirigibles. These were used in the Great War for observation purposes largely. Our own army is similarly supplied. But the Allied armies depended largely on airplanes to report enemy movements. Airplanes are far more important as engines of war than are dirigibles. Keystone ID: 18000 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.