I stumbled across a real treasure this week: an archive of 25 million vintage aerial photos. “Where?” you ask? www.vintageaerial.com. Their collection of vintage photos is primarily of farmhouses, small towns, and landmarks from rural America. With images from 41 different states you are likely to find something that has a family connection. The company and website has been around for at least 8 years and has been intensifying its efforts to digitize their entire collection. More importantly, they have recently made big gains in the ability for people to browse and search the collection online.
5 Reasons to Love Vintage Photos:
I love this site for so many reasons. Here are just five:
- The images are beautiful. All the photographs were taken from a small plane with a camera. According to their website this used to be a common small business. Pilots would fly around taking pictures of farms and landmarks. Then they would go door to door trying to sell the prints.
- The black and white photos evoke memories of a bygone era when life was simpler. Each photo is like a time capsule with its own hidden stories and memories.
- Stories! Speaking of stories, many users have posted stories that relate to the photos. I absolutely love this concept.
- The combination of past and present is something that excites me. This site contains photographs taken as long as 50 years ago, and makes them available today through the use of advanced technology. High fidelity scanners and geographic information systems (GIS) brings these vintage photos to your desktop. Each roll shows the flight path of the plane on a custom Google map. This allows you to match rolls of films with areas of interest to you. It also allows you to set the precise location of each photo by moving a pin on the map.
- You can order a framed print of the photo(s) of your choice. A perfect gift for the family historians in your family!
Each photograph in our collection has the power to evoke memories – from you, your parents or your grandparents. The memories stirred up by the photo both deepen its meaning to you and help define the community where they occurred. – VintageAerial.com