View Full Version : Aerial glass plates....question

30-Mar-2013, 07:02
Stopped by a local flea market yesterday on a search for a new/old office chair. While walking the aisles, my eye went to a pair of familiar colored boxes that turned out to be gorgeous aerial views of two Missouri towns done on Kodak 10x10, (or maybe it was 8x8) glass plates. I was so surprised, I really didn't pay close enough attention to the size.
Anyway, I am slightly familiar with the Fairchild and other film based aerial cameras, but have never heard of aerial cameras that used glass plates.

Can anyone enlighten me as a Google search produced nothing.?

Many thanks.

Dan Fromm
30-Mar-2013, 08:21
lenser, I can't answer directly. The RAF used plate cameras during WW-I, initially with plates inserted and removed manually, later with motor-operated magazines of plates. Not long after the War ended RAF switched to roll film cameras. I don't know USAF's practice, but it seems that by the time the US entered WW-II all of the Army Air Force's aerial cameras used roll film.

There's no reason why the plates you found had to have been shot with a military camera.

30-Mar-2013, 09:46
I would make a gentleman's bet that the plates are 9.5" x 9.5". Plates were used for aerial work into the 1930s. Although I once worked at RAF Upper Heyford, an air recon base with British and American forces, I never saw a glass plate. To the best of my knowledge the RAF and USA were on parallel development tracks.

Those plates might be valuable for historical purposes, depending the content.

John Kasaian
31-Mar-2013, 07:44
You can still get the plates at Surplus Shed---but I don't know what camera uses them

31-Mar-2013, 08:00
You can still get the plates at Surplus Shed---but I don't know what camera uses them

The Shed has been trying to sell those plates forever. I think they are intended to be used to contact copy aerial film images.

31-Mar-2013, 08:15
The boxes were probably "diapositive" plates. They are (were) used to make contact positive images from aerial photography film. The diapositives were used in equipment to make maps from stereo images. The main advantage of glass diapostives are that they were more dimensionally stable then film diapostives. Very helpful when measuring down to 1 micron.


31-Mar-2013, 10:32
Tim I'm also in missouri and someone gave me a set of these plates for my birthday awhile ago. Mine are captures of the Missouri River and I have a total of six plates that all fit together to make a large single image. As mentioned above each plate is 9.5x9.5 but my plates were captured with a Wild Super Aviogon lens which I think might be a Zeiss optic design? I have a couple pics of my set that I will post later, my wife plans on making a coffee table top with the plates.

Dan Fromm
31-Mar-2013, 11:32
Super Aviogon? Wild Heerbrugg.

31-Mar-2013, 15:02
Pacific Optical?

Dan Fromm
31-Mar-2013, 15:40