National Geographic : 1925 Jan
SEEING AMERICA FROM THE "SHENANDOAH" Photograph by Pacific and Atlantic THE NIGHT ARRIVAL AT FORT WORTH, TEXAS The airship reached its mast at Fort Worth at 8:30 p. m., October 8, but an hour elapsed before it cooled sufficiently to approach low enough to drop its cable (see text, page 26). Fort Worth is the home of helium gas, noninflammable and nonpoisonous, of which the United States possesses the only known source of considerable supply. It is extracted from natural gas (p. 98). assents. "Secure the water line up there," he adds in a louder voice. "Aye, aye, sir," the mast replies. "We're now falling off to the right," says Lieutenant Lawrence, at the steering wheel. Four minutes have been con sumed in the jockeying. "How's the ship ?" Lansdowne demands from an officer on the top of the mast. "Still heavy, sir." "Let me know when she's light," in a nonchalant voice. Everybody waits quietly; no strain; the ship will rise; only patience is required. "Elevators neutral, sir," Commander Hancock announces. "Neutral, sir," Allenly echoes. That means the ship is in equilibrium. "A cloud is coming over the ship," Houghton announces. "We'll have the sun again in a few minutes," Lansdowne adds, as if to him self. "Are all hands on their landing sta tions ?" he suddenly asks. "On their stations, sir," Commander Hancock reports. "She's coming up now, captain," from the mast. No more questions; no more conversa tion. Two more minutes have gone. "Have an inversion of temperature aloft," the voice from the mast breaks the silence. It is a warning that the ship's buoyance will change as soon as she rises. "Thank you," replies Lansdowne. "How high ?" "Only up to 2,000 feet." "How many degrees? Considerable?" Lieutenant Lawrence inquires. Lansdowne repeats the question. It is not answered. No time. The cloud has passed. The ship is picking up as the sun strikes it again. An opportunity may come in the tick of a second when she can slip away from the mast.