Summary of “The Turn-of-the-Century Pigeons That Photographed Earth from Above”

In 1907, just a few years after the Wright brothers lifted off in Kitty Hawk, and while human flight was still being measured in metres and minutes, Dr. Julius Neubronner, a German apothecary, submitted a patent application for a new invention: the pigeon camera.
The device was precisely what it sounds like-a small camera fitted with straps and equipped with a timer so that pigeons could carry it and take photos in flight.
Neubronner first used the device on his own flock of homing pigeons, which he sometimes employed to deliver prescriptions.
The technology would soon be adapted for use in wartime-the cameras served as very early precursors to drones-although by the time of the First World War, just a few years later, airplanes were allowing people to do things that only pigeons could have done before.
Neubronner developed the pigeon camera for practical purposes.
The images his pigeons captured, featured in “The Pigeon Photographer,” a recent book from Rorhof, are among the very early photos taken of Earth from above and are distinct for having the GoPro-like quality of channelling animal movement.
The photos offered a glimpse of the world rendered pocket-size, as it eventually would be via a hundred types of new technology-by airplanes, or skyscrapers, or Google Earth.
Pigeons are surely the most pedestrian of birds looking at these oddly graceful photographs, or at Neubronner’s pictures of the birds looking stately and upright in their photo kits, they start to seem like heavenly creatures.

The orginal article.