1971: Zeppelin as witnessed by Hermann Waggershauser

When Hermann Waggershauser started working as a welder at Zeppelin Plant Engineering in Friedrichshafen in 1971, people were still working on their knees with hammers and welding equipment.

Hermann Waggershauser, Friedrichshafen
Job title: Head of Silo & Filter Production
Years of service: 49 years

How has working in production changed over the years?

We used to be called the “big hammer department” because we didn’t have any machines back then. Like blacksmiths, we made everything by hand. Today, everything is mechanized, and many of us work on computers rather than with hammers. The size of the production has also changed significantly: At that time the silo and container construction department was only located in the smallest corner, today we have taken over the entire LD hall*.

* Refers to the LD hall in Friedrichshafen, in which he works; it is named after one of the leading airship engineers, Ludwig Dürr.

What was better then and what is better now?

There are some colleagues I would love to have by my side still. There were some great old-timers among them! But apart from that, things really have changed for the better. In the old days, we were down on our knees, working so hard with hammers. And there was no such thing as occupational safety back then!

Hermann Waggershauser is completely in his element.
Today, everything is mechanized in Zeppelin’s LD hall.

Is Zeppelin still the same company as it was back then?

For me, Zeppelin is still Zeppelin, but I’m also deeply rooted in the LD hall (laughs). Of course Zeppelin has changed over the years: not only inside the hall, but also the company’s entire business: the internationality, the requirements, the safety regulations, …

What do you wish for Zeppelin for its birthday?

I wish for us Zeppeliners to never run out of visions, courage and backbone. For then we will tackle the next 70 years as well!


  1. Hermann Waggershauser, a man with huge experience and always open for new ideas and challenges !

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