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Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 22:45:58 -0800 (PST)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 12:52:32 -0800
From: leekirk@continet.com "Lee Kirk"
Dead medium: Pigeon spies

Coincidentally, just after viewing this I came across the following article. I include a scan of the illustration, which is of poor quality, taken from original publication in The Illustrated London News. -Lee Kirk mailto:leekirk@continet.com




From: From: The Literary Digest, Funk & Wagnalls Co., Publishers Vol XXXVIII, No. 2; January 9, 1909, pp 52-53

PIGEONS AS PHOTOGRAPHERS Photographs have been successfully taken in Germany with cameras fastened to carrier-pigeons. The use of birds for this purpose, we are told by Dr. Alfred Gradenwitz in The Technical World Magazine (Chicago, January), originated with a Cronberg apothecary, Dr. Neubronner, who for years ahs trained pigeons to carry packages of considerable weight to and from his shop. Dr. Neubronner finds that a Pigeon can carry a weight of 75 grains, and if this be attached to its back, where the bird is strongest, can transport it quite easily to distances cf 60 t0 90 miles. Dr. Gradenwitz tells us:

Now it so happened that a pigeon that used to be quite punctual, remained fully a month on its way, so that the question arose as to where it might have stayed in the mean time. In order to decide this, it occurred to Dr. Neubronner that he might attach to his pigeon a small photographic camera, allowing some distinct views to be taken during a flight of about 20 meters a second.

After testing this camera from an express train, Dr. Neubronner proceeded to perform his first experiments on carrier-pigeons as photographers, and the first pictures, which were two by two centimeters in size, were considered quite satisfactory as preliminary results. As the inventor soon realized the scope of this idea, he ordered from a good mechanic a larger camera with a better objective and films of four by four centimeters, with a view to further improving those views. This camera having been fixt to the pigeons breast with a thin board of hard wood, was kept in position on the back of the bird by means of straps. A small india-rubber ball, allowing the air slowly to escape, would effect the instantaneous opening of the shutter in due time. As the air issued from the ball the latter collapsed more and more, while disengaging the shutter at regular intervals, which were readily predetermined. Dr. Neubronner was thus able to secure eight consecutive views, but the capacity of the apparatus is likely to be increased up to 30 views, so that, with intervals of half a minute, a distance of 15 kilometers could be covered nearly continuously. As a pigeon is able to transport 75 grains to a distance ten times as great, no essential difficulties will be met with in carrying this idea out in practice. It is interesting that the German patent office, owing to the prevalent erroneous views as to the small carrying capacity of pigeons, should at first have been rather skeptical in regard to Dr. Neubronners invention, granting the patent only after being satisfied of his claims by the demonstration of some photographic records actually taken by pigeons.

This process would seem to be specially adapted to taking photographic records from a birds-eye perspective, and the German War Department soon became interested. Dr. Neubronner was entrusted with the taking of views from two kilometers distance of the Tegel Water Works, which are quite similar to a fortress. Being unable to use any local dove-cote, he built the transportable cote shown in one of the photographs. A dark room on the car allowed the pictures taken to be developed immediately. The pigeon during its ascent is able to see to 20 miles distance. We read further:

On the occasion of a lecture recently delivered at Cronberg, Dr. Neubronner exhibited a carrier-pigeon equipped with his apparatus, as illustrated herewith, as well as some pigeon pictures magnified on a screen. Special interest was aroused in some views taken of the park in Freidrichshof Castle, accessible to nobody, which strikingly demonstrated the possibility of using carrier pigeons for obtaining pictures of beleaguered forts.

The invention and practical use of dirigible air-ships, so far from reducing the utility of this ingenious process, would seem to increase its possibilities. Air-ships would, in fact, allow a number of carrier-pigeons to be launched from considerable height behind the front of the enemy on the positions of the latter, and as these pigeons would take their views from a moderate height, the balloon would not require to be taken to the various positions necessitated by the photographic work, but could permanently remain at considerable height, thus being relatively safe against the projectiles of the enemy. Those two inventions would thus serve to supplement one another.

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Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 22:45:58 -0800 (PST)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 12:52:32 -0800
From: leekirk@continet.com "Lee Kirk"
Dead medium: Pigeon spies

Coincidentally, just after viewing this I came across the following article. I include a scan of the illustration, which is of poor quality, taken from original publication in The Illustrated London News. -Lee Kirk mailto:leekirk@continet.com




From: From: The Literary Digest, Funk & Wagnalls Co., Publishers Vol XXXVIII, No. 2; January 9, 1909, pp 52-53

PIGEONS AS PHOTOGRAPHERS Photographs have been successfully taken in Germany with cameras fastened to carrier-pigeons. The use of birds for this purpose, we are told by Dr. Alfred Gradenwitz in The Technical World Magazine (Chicago, January), originated with a Cronberg apothecary, Dr. Neubronner, who for years ahs trained pigeons to carry packages of considerable weight to and from his shop. Dr. Neubronner finds that a Pigeon can carry a weight of 75 grains, and if this be attached to its back, where the bird is strongest, can transport it quite easily to distances cf 60 t0 90 miles. Dr. Gradenwitz tells us:

Now it so happened that a pigeon that used to be quite punctual, remained fully a month on its way, so that the question arose as to where it might have stayed in the mean time. In order to decide this, it occurred to Dr. Neubronner that he might attach to his pigeon a small photographic camera, allowing some distinct views to be taken during a flight of about 20 meters a second.

After testing this camera from an express train, Dr. Neubronner proceeded to perform his first experiments on carrier-pigeons as photographers, and the first pictures, which were two by two centimeters in size, were considered quite satisfactory as preliminary results. As the inventor soon realized the scope of this idea, he ordered from a good mechanic a larger camera with a better objective and films of four by four centimeters, with a view to further improving those views. This camera having been fixt to the pigeons breast with a thin board of hard wood, was kept in position on the back of the bird by means of straps. A small india-rubber ball, allowing the air slowly to escape, would effect the instantaneous opening of the shutter in due time. As the air issued from the ball the latter collapsed more and more, while disengaging the shutter at regular intervals, which were readily predetermined. Dr. Neubronner was thus able to secure eight consecutive views, but the capacity of the apparatus is likely to be increased up to 30 views, so that, with intervals of half a minute, a distance of 15 kilometers could be covered nearly continuously. As a pigeon is able to transport 75 grains to a distance ten times as great, no essential difficulties will be met with in carrying this idea out in practice. It is interesting that the German patent office, owing to the prevalent erroneous views as to the small carrying capacity of pigeons, should at first have been rather skeptical in regard to Dr. Neubronners invention, granting the patent only after being satisfied of his claims by the demonstration of some photographic records actually taken by pigeons.

This process would seem to be specially adapted to taking photographic records from a birds-eye perspective, and the German War Department soon became interested. Dr. Neubronner was entrusted with the taking of views from two kilometers distance of the Tegel Water Works, which are quite similar to a fortress. Being unable to use any local dove-cote, he built the transportable cote shown in one of the photographs. A dark room on the car allowed the pictures taken to be developed immediately. The pigeon during its ascent is able to see to 20 miles distance. We read further:

On the occasion of a lecture recently delivered at Cronberg, Dr. Neubronner exhibited a carrier-pigeon equipped with his apparatus, as illustrated herewith, as well as some pigeon pictures magnified on a screen. Special interest was aroused in some views taken of the park in Freidrichshof Castle, accessible to nobody, which strikingly demonstrated the possibility of using carrier pigeons for obtaining pictures of beleaguered forts.

The invention and practical use of dirigible air-ships, so far from reducing the utility of this ingenious process, would seem to increase its possibilities. Air-ships would, in fact, allow a number of carrier-pigeons to be launched from considerable height behind the front of the enemy on the positions of the latter, and as these pigeons would take their views from a moderate height, the balloon would not require to be taken to the various positions necessitated by the photographic work, but could permanently remain at considerable height, thus being relatively safe against the projectiles of the enemy. Those two inventions would thus serve to supplement one another.

--- For Dead Media project mailing list subscribe/unsubscribe/information email To: dead-media-request@wps.com Subject: HELP See also http://wps.com/dead-media