The Hindenburg Had A Smoking Lounge!?

May 9, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

In an article that looks at society’s relationship with risk, Edward Tenner’s discussion of the smoking lounge on the doomed Hindenburg stands out:

  • The idea of a smoking lounge nested under a large balloon filled with highly flammable Hydrogen gas seems ridiculous.
  • Yet during the time of the Hindenburg smoking was an integral part of people’s lifestyles.
  • The Hindenburg had to compete with luxury cruise ships to attract passengers. Not allowing people to smoke would have hurt the appeal of travelling via airship.
  • Passengers would have been incredibly bored during times when there was no land in sight if they didn’t have the refuge of a smoking lounge.
  • To try to mitigate the risk all lighters were confiscated when passengers boarded the ship. The smoking lounge was specially designed and contained electric lighters. A steward ensured that guests didn’t leave the lounge with lit cigarettes.

To read more about the appeal of a mode of transportation that can carry “56 people at the speed of a Buick at an altitude you could hear dogs bark”, why there’s unlikely to be a smoking renaissance ahead, how the Hindenburg was still safer than the Titanic, the role that Congress played in the Hindenburg disaster, and why blimps might become a popular method of transportation once again, click here.

Source: The American

Via: Marginal Revolution