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Historic birds’ eye view of cities—from a plane

Birds' eye view of Grand Central Station, New York City

Birds’ eye view maps and pictorial representations were popular ways to depict cities in towns in the United States in the latter 19th and early 20th century. In 1903, the Wright brothers piloted the first successful motorized flight at Kill Devil Hills in the Outerbanks of North Carolina, a development that led to great changes in transportation, warfare, and…photo-documentation.

Walter Mittelholzer, a Swiss aviation pioneer, earned his pilot’s license in 1917 and subsequently established an air-photo and transportation business. He particularly was interested in, and took aerial photographs of, North Africa and the Middle East. View some of his early aerial photographs taken of cities during the 1930s.


1930s cities from the air: the aerial photographs of Walter Mittelholzer – in pictures

By Cities (supported by the Rockefeller Foundation)

The Guardian

July 5, 2017

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