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James Wallace Black 
Aerial view of Boston 
1860, 13 October 
  
Albumen print from glass negative 
10 1/16 x 7 15/16 in (25.6 x 20.2 cm) 
  
Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Robert O. Dougan Collection, Gift of Warner Communications Inc., 1981 (1981.1229.4) 
  
 
LL/36172 
  
Considered to be the earliest surviving aerial photograph.
 
Comments from the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (The Metropolitan Museum of Art):
 
Two years after the French photographer Nadar conducted his earliest experiments in balloon flight, the Boston photographer James Wallace Black ascended over the city to make the first successful aerial photographs in America. He flew on Samuel King's hot-air balloon, the "Queen of the Air," and exposed several glass-plate negatives, including this extraordinary, if imperfect, view as much lunar landscape as "Beantown." Almost immediately, aerial photography would be put to use by the Union Army. By 1862, President Abraham Lincoln appointed a civilian Balloon Corps to serve under the Bureau of Topographical Engineers to spy from the skies on Confederate troops during the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia.
 
[Accessed: 5 April 2010] 
 
 
  

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James Wallace Black 
  
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James Wallace Black
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Aerial photography 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist 
  
Themes 
  
Aerial 
Aerial photography 
Balloons, airships and dirigibles 
Massachusetts 
 
Fragments and slideshows 
  
Aerial photography 
James Wallace Black: Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It 
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HomeContentsVisual indexes > James Wallace Black > Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
Massachusetts - Aerial 
  
Portrait 
LL/45537
Portrait 
LL/13969
Portrait 
LL/40553
Portrait 
LL/36172
  

Checklist   


 
  
HomeContentsVisual indexesThemes > Aerial photography 
Aerial - Aerial reconnaissance and bombing photography - Satellite imaging - Aerial photography 
  
Portrait 
LL/6893
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LL/34686
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LL/40386
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LL/34379
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LL/36146
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LL/1659
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LL/31891
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LL/53281
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LL/50784
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LL/36172
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LL/13969
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LL/40553
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LL/45537
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LL/44595
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LL/54029
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LL/53289
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LL/36490
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LL/36378
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LL/10665
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LL/10666
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LL/10667
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LL/12986
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LL/1660
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LL/41576
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LL/36374
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LL/39444
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LL/22459
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LL/27738
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LL/36129
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LL/37921
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LL/52903
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LL/42970
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LL/31896
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LL/31895
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LL/6592
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LL/16822
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LL/16807
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LL/3867
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LL/3866
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LL/43060

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