Startling revelations with regard to the invention of the Zeppelin, of which the ZR-3 is the latest development, were made today by Madam Melanie Schwartz, the widow of Engineer David Schwartz, to the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here.
With documents of the authenticity of which there seems to be no doubt, Madam Schwartz asserts that her husband, who died January 13, 1897, was the inventor of the Star System airships known now as Zeppelins. She and her husband then lived in the city of Agram Austria, now part of Jugoslavia and called Zagieb. In 1894, Engineer Schwartz patented his invention in Vienna and offered it to the government of Austria-Hungary. The government, however, did not take up the matter until three years later, when in 1897, Engineer Schwartz was called to Berlin for the purpose of discussing plans to commence building the airships. His joy and excitement were so great that, on the day of his departure, he died of heart failure. Great honors were paid to him at his funeral and he was buried in an honorory place in the Central Cemetery of Vienna. The Austrian Lexicon on Technical Sciences of that year registered David Schwartz as the inventor of the airship.
After the German Government refused to patent the invention of Count Zeppelin, he purchased from Schwartz’s widow the Schwartz airship patents, registered in Austria, for a period of thirty years. According to the agreement signed at that time the widow and children of Schwartz were to receive not only money for the sale of the patent, but were also to participate in the profits during that period. However, as long as Count Zeppelin was alive there were no profits.
Madam Schwartz relates the interesting story that after the death of her husband she was invited by one of the European governments to demonstrate her late husband’s invention. When she started to unpack the model, she noticed, hidden in a corner of the room, a photographic apparatus. Thereupon, she refused to display the model, with the excuse that she had taken ill.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.