The Age of Air Travel
Within a few short years, a rapid succession of technological advances combined with a growing commercial success propelled the resulting Zeppelin airship company to worldwide fame; and sparked the age of the Zeppelin as the new craft came to be called. Though there were a few competitors, none ever matched the raging success of the Zeppelin brand. During the war years, the German military made numerous attempts to use the Zeppelins as long range bombers with dubious tactical success (and huge psychological impact) dramatically improving airship design along the way, and by the end of the First World War, the technology was ready for full scale commercial application.
Before the Hindenburg
Down in Flames
However, the decline of the airship industry was in the cards long before the Hindenburg disaster. Commercially, the much smaller aircraft of the early 1930s were already outperforming the sluggish dirigibles in efficiency and the political and financial realities of the depression/pre-war era made the luxury cruises of the great airships impractical even for the wealthy.