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Some interesting information here. Ive never personally thought of Zeppelin as heavy metal but i do see how their influence could spawn a heavier generation. I think the same goes for Deep Purple and Blue Cheer.
I think that LZ is seen as precuser of HM in the same way that JMW Turner is seen as a precurser to the Impressionists
Black Sabbath definitely had a deep defining heavy sound that no one else had at the time. Their drummer Bill Ward, had the idea that people would pay money to be scared by a horror movie, why wouldn't horror music have the same effect.
All of the bands you mentioned i think played a huge roll in the influence of hard rock and heavy metal. I'm a huge Doors/Jim Morrison fan and in my opinion they were, along with the who, one of the first punk rock bands. Thanks for your answer.