LA PHOTOGRAPHIE EN BALLON.; Avec une épreuve photoglyptique du cliché obtenu par MM. Gaston Tissandier et Jacques Ducom, a 600 mètres au-dessus de l'Ile Saint-Louis, a Paris
by Tissandier, Gaston
Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1886. First edition. 8vo., vii, 52, (1) pp., Frontispiece photograph with printed overlay key, and 9 illustrations in text. Publisher's original printed wrappers which are chipped along the spine and soiled; the text is foxed, original owner's ink stamps on the blank reverse of the front wrapper. A good copy. This work, possibly the first practical manual on aerial photography, includes an historical survey. Gaston Tissandier (1843 - 1899) was a scientific scholar, educator and writer, and photographer. His early interest in ballooning stemmed from his studies in meteorology, with his first ascension on 16 August 1868. There were several notable aerial photographers prior to Tissandier and Jacques Ducom, including J.W. Black in Boston and Nadar in Paris; however, they were in stationary balloons. It was not until faster dry plate emulsions were introduced in 1878 that it became practical to make photographs from a free flowing balloon. "In June 1880 Paul Desmarets obtained two remarkable views of Rouen from a free balloon at a height of 4,200 ft., with an exposure of 1/20 second. Even these views were surpassed by the photographs of Jacques Ducom made five years later in a balloon navigated by Gaston Tissandier. Ducom's view of the Ile Saint-Louis, Paris, from 1,800 ft. leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Through a magnifying glass people can be counted on the bridge." Gernsheim, The History of Photography., p. 508. Roosens and Salu No. 613, likely did not examine a copy of this rare work; they list the pagination as 45 pp with 8 illustrations and the carbon print frontis. WorldCat locates only four copies, with none in North America.
(Inventory #: 51870)
Photography; all aspects including Photographic Literature from the Pre-history through Contemporary. General Antiquarian. Appraisals.
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