When was the first known aerial photograph taken?


TKG Team

aerial photograph

Image credit: By Honoré Daumier – Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2004, 51.4.3.jpg, via Wikipedia

The world’s first ever aerial photograph was taken in 1858 by French photographer and innovator Gasper F. Tournachon, aka Nadar, from a balloon over the city of Paris, France. This photo, however, no longer exists.

The oldest existing aerial photograph is a photo of the city of Boston, US, clicked from a tethered hot air balloon at 1,200ft by the famed American photographer James Wallace Black (1825-1896). Taken more than 150 years ago in 1860, the photo was captioned “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose see it” by noted American scientist and poet Oliver W. Holmes.

As aerial photography took off in the late 1800s, photographers used novel ways to capture aerial shots – using kites, balloons, and even carrier pigeons. The first aerial photo from an airplane was taken in 1908 by French Photographer L. P. Bonvillain.

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