Before Google Earth: Camera Pigeons c. 1908

By

23rd Oct, 2012

20121023-125227.jpg

In 1908 Dr Julius Neubronner patented a miniature pigeon camera activated by a timing mechanism. The invention brought him international notability after he presented it at international expositions in Dresden, Frankfurt and Paris in 1909–1911. Spectators in Dresden could watch the arrival of the camera-equipped carrier pigeons, and the photos were immediately developed and turned into postcards which could be purchased.

-The Public Domain Review

20121023-125223.jpg

20121023-125258.jpg

20121023-125344.jpg

20121023-125350.jpg

After some initial interest in the military potential of pigeon photography during World War I, the rapid advancement of aviation during the war saw interest quickly fade and Neubronner eventually abandoned his experiments. The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) however, later developed a battery-powered camera designed for espionage pigeon photography. Details of its use remain classified.

20121023-125354.jpg

(Images National Air & Space Museum Spy Technology Section via Wikimedia Commons)

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in Don't Be A TouristEditor's PicksHow to start a subcultureLife is MessyMy Secret ParisParis Like a Local

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

edwardcurtis

The Man who Documented the Last American Tribes

His lifework documenting the North American Indian was once hailed as “the most ambitious enterprise in publishing since the production of the King James Bible.” Today I found his photographs d...

Trending 13,085
birdhouse

Stop Everything, it’s a Teeny Tiny Bird Town

This is very much one of those, "shutup and take my money" moments. And I don't actually have a garden to put one of these things in, but minor details. I found this series of birdhouse shopfronts ...

Trending 2,265
Processed with VSCOcam with g2 preset

Where to find Provence in Paris

This weekend we were supposed to be somewhere in Provence, sipping cold rosé and watching locals play pétanque on the village square. We had naively tried to book a very last-minute weekend do...

Trending 4,926