Seventy six years ago on this day, May 6th, marks the anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster and the end of an era for the giant airship. But rather than re-visiting those tragic photographs, I thought I’d share something a little less sombre that I happened to stumble upon while looking through some old photographs of Los Angeles today …
This is the Zep Diner in Downtown Los Angeles, pictured in 1931. The “all night” diner featured its very own unique burger on the menu known as the “Hinden Burger”.
During the 1920s and 1930s, America was fascinated by the German-made airships, the largest aircrafts ever built to this day. The LZ 129 Hindenburg had begun operating regular transatlantic flights from Germany to North America, and it’s a little-known fact that even the art deco spire of the Empire State Building was originally designed to serve as a mooring mast for Zeppelins.
The events of May 6th, 1937, however would change the fate of the Zeppelins forever. The tragic Hindenburg disaster which killed 34 people as it prepared to land in the United States after a three day voyage from Frankfurt, was recorded on video camera while radio reporter Herbert Morrison gave an eyewitness account of the Zeppelin as it burst into flames, in what is one of the most famous radio broadcasts ever.
The Zep Diner, much like the status of the airship in modern aviation, sadly doesn’t have much to say for itself today. It was located at 515 W. Florence Avenue in Los Angeles, near the intersection with S. Figueroa, which now serves as a McDonald’s parking lot.
Any guesses for what ingredients made the “Hinden Burger”?