Graf von Ferdinand Zeppelin
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Zeppelin, Ferdinand, Count von
Zeppelin, Ferdinand, Count von (1838–1917) German army officer and inventor. Zeppelin served in the armies of Württemburg and Prussia. While an observer with the Union Army during the US Civil War (1861–65), he made his first balloon ascent. In 1900, he invented the first rigid airship, which was called Zeppelin after him.