Albuquerque Balloon Museum seeks German translator for letter written in 1914

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Can you translate German? If so, the Albuquerque Balloon Museum could use your help.

The museum has come into possession of a letter from Ferdinand Graf Von Zeppelin. If his name sounds familiar, Van Zeppelin was the creator of the flying airship.

The letter, written in cursive in an old-style German known as Kurrent, is dated from 1914. That’s more than a decade after his first successful airship flight.

Museum curator Marilee Nason is hopeful someone might be able to translate the letter, so she put out a call for help. Dr. Nason says what makes the letter so intriguing is the unknown.

“We don’t know what the contents of the letter are, and so it will advance our research and our own collection, and advance the history about what we know about Von Zeppelin.”

She says the letter is part of a larger collection of papers and artifacts in the museum’s collection, including letters in French from balloon pioneers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier.

As for readability, she says some of the letters are easier than others.

“Different people have different hands. They’re all written in cursive. Some are extremely easy to read. Others, like Graf Von Zeppelin’s, is difficult.”

To view a full copy of the four-page letter on the city’s Cultural Services page, click here.

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