Finland, the airship Graf Zeppelin lands at the Post Museum

The Post Museum will open the Graf Zeppelin - Colossus of the Skies exhibition on April 23, 2010. The exhibition consists of tales about the famous airship Graf Zeppelin's visit to Helsinki 80 years ago. The Graf Zeppelin was a pioneering aircraft in the beginning of the 20th century. ToToday a Zeppelin visit in Helsinki could be compared to a visit of an international megastar.

It created a massive media frenzy and attracted a crowd numbering in the tens of thousands. The Zeppelin visit was honored with a new stamp, which, by accident, featured the most famous misprint in Finland, a rarity in the world. The exhibition runs until August 8, 2010.

The Graf Zeppelin - Colossus of the Skies exhibition features the planning of the airship's visit, travelling on board the airship, its operating principles, and key figures involved with the airship. Naturally, the tale of the Zeppelin overprint origin and misprint is included, as well as valuable philatelic Zeppelin collections. Some of the exhibition material has been borrowed from the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

The size of a modern ocean liner, the Graf Zeppelin was welcomed after thorough planning. The press gave townspeople advice on how to avoid hold-ups and panic. The airship was expected to land at Viikki Latokartano field. However, hard gusty winds prevented the landing. Some of the passengers on the Graf Zeppelin had planned to disembark in Helsinki and ten passengers waited to board the airship in Helsinki.

The Zeppelin Company received major income for carrying mail. Almost 8,500 Finnish letters and postcards were hoisted on board the Graf Zeppelin. The Finnish postal service had no time to print a totally new stamp; instead, "Zeppelin 1930" was printed over the already published 10-mark Lake Saimaa stamp. There were a total of 500 sheets printed. Due to human error, every 100-stamp sheet included one stamp featuring the text "Zeppelin 1830". Soon after the misprint was discovered, the postal services withdrew the stamps from the market.

In addition to Finnish, the exhibition is subtitled in Swedish and English. Expert lectures and briefings are also featured.

The Post Museum is located in the Helsinki General Post Office, Asema-aukio 5 H. The Museum is open Mon-Fri 10 am to 6 pm and Sat-Sun from noon to 5 pm.

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