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 Art & Design AwesomenessComedic TherapyEditor's PicksHot WheelsHow to start a subcultureInspiration VaultLife is MessyLost & FoundNostalgiaObscure historyTeeny Tiny StuffTime travel

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

cobb10

The Apocalypse that Shrunk South London

Not Chernobyl. Not a sunken cruise ship at the bottom of the ocean. In that order, those were my guesses as to what exactly I was looking at when I first squinted my eyes at these photographs. ...

Trending 2,326
minimotel2

The Fantastic Folding Mini-Motel Caravan, 1959

You probably know by now that caravans are one of my favourite things and with summer holidays and road trip wanderlust in the air, I'd like to present my latest find, the (fantastic) folding Mi...

Trending 2,479