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Manuscript Group 416
AERO SERVICE CORPORATION PHOTOGRAPHS
[ca. 1926-1948]
(over 4,000 items)


The Aero Service Corporation began in 1919 in Philadelphia and was a pioneer and world leader in aerial photography and photogrammetry. Directed by Virgil I. Kauffman, a World War I veteran pilot who joined the company in 1924, the firm obtained lucrative government and private contracts including those with the United States Geological Survey and the Tennessee Valley Authority that involved some of the first aerial surveys of the country. Kauffman retained the original negatives of the firm until his death in 1985 and thereafter his survivors permitted the dispersion of the negatives to appropriate historical agencies throughout the country. In 1988 the Pennsylvania State Archives received those pertaining to Pennsylvania.

The photographs include approximately 2,200 glass plate and film negatives in varying sizes, usually 8 x 10", 7 1/2" or 9" or 9 x 9", roughly dated between 1926 and 1939. There are very few original prints present. All are oblique aerial views primarily of the Philadelphia area and Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey towns. They are arranged numerically and feature factories, businesses, individual homes, housing developments, golf courses, sports arenas, etc.

Philadelphia views include: Towns include: Notable events include: Out of state views include:


 

PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records