Old South Meeting House/Oldest Aerial Photograph
By daggerwell @ 2007-02-24 11:05:22
Old South Meeting House (completed 1729) was the largest building in colonial Boston and the staging point for the Boston Tea Party in December, 1773.
More interesting to Virtual Globetrotters is the fact that Old South Meeting House is visible in the world's oldest existing aerial photograph.
On 13 October 1860 noted photographer James Wallace Black ascended 1200 feet in a hot air balloon (the 'Queen of the Air' piloted by Samuel A. King)
anchored in Boston Common. He exposed 8 plates during his ascent but considered only one of them successful: a view to the east toward Boston Harbor
including Old South Meeting House on Washington Street with Milk Street curving away toward the docks. Black named his photograph 'Boston as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It'.
Although Frenchman Gaspard Felix Tournachon (aka Nadar) had taken the world's first aerial photographs in 1858, none of them survive making Black's 1860 view of Boston and the Old South Meeting House the World's earliest existing aerial Photograph.
The Live Local view above approximates Black's photograph.
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