October 5, 2006
he Zeppelin Company, the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, produced its first rigid airship in 1900. The US government later contracted with the company to build several airships, including the Hindenburg, which was launched in March of 1936. The airship made ten roundtrip voyages between Germany and the United States before disaster struck.
Miller’s grandson and namesake, Frank Miller Hutchings, was on the last successful flight of the Zeppelin Hindenburg. The Hindenburg blew up while landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937. Thirty six died, including 13 passengers, 22 crewmen, and one civilian member of the crew. The day after the disaster, Hutchings was quoted in the Riverside Daily Press: "I, speaking as a passenger looking down upon the Lakehurst ground crew, know how horrible must have been those last few seconds of yesterday's mooring." He went on to say, "But, I feel sure that those who last night failed to reach the hangar would repledge their faith that the conquest of the air shall continue."
The Miller-Hutchings' family continued to pledge their own faith in the Zeppelin's conquest of the air; some items of interest from their collection include a Hindenburg travel brochure, a sample of Graf Zeppelin oil in a bottle, and a Zeppelin Hindenburg broach.