Now a pioneering aviation firm hopes to bring back the airships in a bid to revolutionise the global market in transporting freight.
The Aeroscraft is built using innovative technology which allows it to control its flight better than previous airships, so it should avoid the problems experienced by the first generation of zeppelins.
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Revolutionary: The Aeroscraft airship, pictured during testing, is set to reintroduce the zeppelin to the world's skies
Nearly ready: The zeppelin is set to have its first full test flight, and will roll off the production line from mid-2015
The aircraft has been designed thanks to a $3million grant from the U.S. government, and it will soon be ready for its first test flight, according to Business Insider.
The Aeroscraft is designed by Worldwide Aeros Corp., who predict that it will change the way that goods are moved around the world by providing a mode of transport which is cheaper than planes but faster than ships.
The key technological breakthrough came when the firm's founder Igor Pasternak came up with a way to compress helium, which allows the airship to control its weight.
Impressive: The new age of the zeppelin relies on technology which compresses helium to allow better control of the aircraft
Pilots: Similar to a conventional aeroplane, the Aeroscraft has a pilot and a co-pilot sitting in the cockpit
Lift-off! The appeal of the new-style blimp comes from the fact that it costs just a third as much to fly as an aeroplane
This means that even though its 115mph average speed is much slower than a jet aeroplane at 500mph-plus, the overall travel time could be lower because it can travel directly from where goods are produced to where they are needed.
Worldwide Aeros hope that this will make it useful to the military and aid charities operating in parts of the world with poorly developed infrastructure on the ground.
Market: The firm behind the airship insists that it will be perfect for any company involved in transporting goods
Testing: The manufacturers will be hoping to avoid the safety problems which plagued early generations of zeppelins
The firm claims that its first airships will be available to customers in mid-2015, when they will be rented out for a year at a time.
A model of the zeppelin which carries 66 tonnes will cost more than $25million per year, while a 250-tonne version will be $55million.