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Blimp-loving Collector Donates Relics to University of Akron

AKRON, Ohio — An airship aficionado’s memorabilia collection documenting the history of lighter-than-air flight is headed to the hometown of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and birthplace of its iconic blimps.

The University of Akron is accepting 100 boxes of rare toys, books, photos and videos from New York City resident Alan Gross, who bills himself as “Airship Al.”

Gross tells the Akron Beacon Journal that his dirigible fascination began at age 13, when he watched a Goodyear blimp from the window of his Queens apartment during the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

Gross runs a consulting company catering to airship manufacturers and operators.

The university maintains historical archives of local industries to include lighter-than-air flight.

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