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  • 10.07.10

150th Anniversary of the First U.S. Aerial Photo

Renaissance painters used principles of perspective to imagine what cities looked like from above, but no one knew for sure until photographer James Wallace Black went up over Boston in a hot-air balloon in 1860. The military saw beyond the entertainment factor, and northern photographers in hot-air balloons were soon tracking Confederate troops. Black’s fascination with lofty views proved prescient: 150 years later, Google has taken a similar adventure via Google Earth, the satellite-imagery program that lets you view aerial scenery of the entire planet — and the moon, too.

Renaissance painters used principles of perspective to imagine what
cities looked like from above, but no one knew for sure until
photographer James Wallace Black went up over Boston in a hot-air
balloon in 1860. The military saw beyond the entertainment factor, and
northern photographers in hot-air balloons were soon tracking
Confederate troops. Black’s fascination with lofty views proved
prescient: 150 years later, Google has taken a similar adventure via
Google Earth, the satellite-imagery program that lets you view aerial
scenery of the entire planet — and the moon, too. Sadly, Black’s next
innovation lacked that staying power. He became the authority on the
candelight-powered projector, a forefather of the slide projector. — BS

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Wed, October 13

Shoot
150th Anniversary of the First U.S. Aerial Photo

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