The fiery May 6, 1937, crash of the German zeppelin Hindenburg in Lakewood, NJ, is an iconic tragedy.
Most people have seen footage of the Hindenburg being engulfed in flames and being burnt to cinders in mere moments. Few people, however, known that not everything on the trans-Atlantic airship was destroyed.
A bottle of beer said to have been rescued from the crash has sold at auction in Wiltshire, England, for just over $16,000. It was one of several items picked up at the scene by Lakewood Fire Chief Leroy Smith at the time of the disaster.
Reports from people who have investigated the provenance of items say Smith found a half-dozen scorched bottles and a pitcher, which he hid for a while, then passed out to colleagues. The only other bottle still definitely known to exist was donated by Smith to the Lowenbrau brewery in 1977.
The bottle of beer, which still contains a liquid, was sold by the British auction house Henry Aldridge & Sons which specializes in disaster relics. It has been a major auctioner of Titanic artifacts.
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