James Wallace Black

James Wallace Black

James Wallace Black (February 10, 1825 – January 5, 1896), known professionally as J.W. Black, was an early American photographer whose career was marked by experimentation and innovation.

On October 13, 1860, two years after the French photographer Nadar conducted his earliest experiments in balloon flight, Black made the first successful aerial photographs in the United States in collaboration with the balloon navigator Samuel Archer King on King’s hot-air balloon, the Queen of the Air. He photographed Boston from a hot-air balloon at 1,200 feet (8 plates of glass negative; 10 1/16 x 7 15/16 in). One good print resulted, which the photographer entitled “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It.” This was the first clear aerial image of a city anywhere.

Image: James Wallace Black in 1896, wikipedia.

Leave a Reply