New Collection: Champion Air Views in Ohio

Posted on 04/02/2021 by Nathan Lewis in New Content Releases

Today we are very excited to be adding 116,000 aerial photographs to our online Ohio collection. The photos are from the Champion Air Views library, which we’re happy to have acquired as part of our commitment to find, preserve, and share lost collections of aerial photographs of rural America. This release reflects only 3% of the entire Champion collection and represents our first step in making the entire collection available for search in the coming months.

The History

In 1957 a young man named Lee Champion landed a sales job for an aerial photography company as a door-to-door salesman. Five years later Lee had learned a lot about this business and decided he wanted to start his own company. He and his boss worked out a deal, splitting the country between them. According to legend, during this meeting they drew a line diagonally across a US map separating the South from the upper Midwest, mostly protecting each other’s sales territory. Lee soon opened the doors for his new company Champion Air Views. During the company’s lifetime around 4.4 million photos across 32 states were taken and film preserved. Upon his retirement he sold the collection which changed hands a few times before Vintage Aerial finally acquired it to preserve and share this beautiful film.

The Collection

The style and quality of photos in this collection fits in well with our other photos: shot at low altitudes with an oblique angle in 35mm black and white film to capture extraordinary detail of land and life years ago. Unfortunately the flight mapping and record keeping was not as meticulous and as a result there is some film with no locations and a lot with fuzzy dates. We are confident our community will be able to use landmarks and features like cars to help us determine more precise dates and locations.

Here are a few examples of some shots in this release:

Family home near Columbus Grove, OH in 1995.

Carter Lumber near Albany, OH in 1986.

Saint Angela Merici Church in Fayetteville in 1986.

Photo of the Champion Air Views collection in our archive.

We are excited to be sharing these new photos with you, please join us in bringing them to life. You can search by address or map location as normal and any new film in the area will appear with NEWLY ADDED on the roll. If you would like to see a breakdown of all the new film you can do that here.

Texas: The Lone Star State

Posted on 04/28/2020 by Nathan Lewis in New Content Releases

“Friendship” is the official state motto

Today, we are excited to announce that over 750,000 photos are now available to search and view online. As the saying goes, everything’s bigger in Texas, and the agriculture industry is no exception. for example The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. The Lone Star State leads the nation in total number of farms and, with more than 245,000 farms averaging around 530 acres in size. These farms take up a staggering 130 million acres of land. Texas farmers are very family focused, with nearly 99 percent of Texas farms and ranches being family owned. Texas agriculture’s total economic impact reaches $115 billion annually, and one out of every seven Texans works in agriculture. The top commodities include cattle and calves, cotton and dairy products. Our collection of aerial photos focuses on these rural farming properties and we hope you find something meaningful within them. Here are a few of our visitors who did.

“I was born in this house 83 years ago. The buildings are gone, but I still own the farm.”

“The First Baptist Church in Miami, Texas. My grandmother was the nursery teacher there for years, my aunt was married in this church and at 99 years my grandmother’s funeral was held in this church.”

“Wet n Wild water park Garland Texas, when six flags bought out the company they closed this location almost immediately. It was promptly torn down and CarMax was built where it once was.”

Texas Agricultural Data

  • Number of counties: 254 (Vintage Aerial has photos in 239)
  • Population: 26,448,193
  • Farms: 247,500 (99% Family Owned)
  • Female Farmers: 120,000
  • Average Farm Size: 527 acres
  • Total Farm Land: 130 million acres
  • Agriculture Receipts: $115 billion

We invite you to come and take a look at these homes and farms in our collection of over 750,000 aerial photos of this great region. Home is the place where you became you. Find your way back!

COVID-19 and its impact on us

Posted on 03/24/2020 by Lance Roper in Company Updates

Update: We’ve resumed fulfillment of all our products.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’re making some important changes to ensure the safety of our employees and suppliers.

Effective immediately, all printed products such as Canvas Wraps, Photographic Prints, and Framed Prints will be temporarily unavailable for purchase. This is a drastic measure for us, but we’re certain it will help reduce the spread of this virus by eliminating the kind of person-to-person contact required to manufacture these products.

We promise to fulfill any orders that have already been placed for printed products, although there may be minor delays as suppliers and carriers navigate these unprecedented conditions.

Digital Files will continue to be available at a heavily discounted price of $129 until we’re able to safely resume normal operations. With your support, we can endure this difficult time and continue the important work of preserving historic content.

We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our staff. Most of our small team will be working from home, while others are working in accordance with CDC workplace and social-distancing guidelines.

We wish peace and safety to you and your loved ones, and may we all emerge from this tragedy stronger than before.


The Vintage Aerial Team

Nebraska: Cornhusker State

Posted on 10/23/2019 by Nathan Lewis in New Content Releases

“Equality before the law” is the official state motto

Today, we are excited to announce that over 100,000 photos are now available to search and view online. The Origin of Nebraska’s Name comes from an Oto Indian word meaning flat water. This seems odd as Nebraska was once called “The Great American Desert.” in 1872 Arbor Day was found by J. Sterling Morton. Since then millions of trees have planted for windbreaks, woodlots, and orchards. For myself when I think of Nebraska, solid college football comes to mind. The University of Nebraska has been to a record 27 consecutive bowl games and 27 consecutive winning seasons. In 1899 Cy Sherman referred to the team as the Cornhuskers, which was officially adopted one year later. in 1945 The state changed its official nickname form “Tree Planter’s State” to the “Cornhusker State.”

The term “cornhusker” comes from the method of harvesting or “husking” corn by hand, which was common in Nebraska before the invention of husking machinery. Nebraska is an agricultural juggernaut with close to 50,000 farms generating 25 billion dollars. Nearly nine million acres are planted to corn and produced nearly 1.5 billion bushels. Five million acres were planted to soybeans and produced nearly 268 million bushels. Nebraska’s dairy cows produce over one billion pounds of milk a year. Nebraska’s slaughter plants process nearly 6.8 million cattle and nearly 7.7 million hogs. Of the many farms involved in the agricultural business 86% are family owned and operated. Our collection of aerial photos focuses on these rural farming properties and we hope you find something meaningful within them. Here are a few of our visitors who did.

“My husband’s dad and his 11 siblings grew up on this farm in the 1940s and 50s. The original farmhouse was demolished and the home you see was built in the 50s. I’m gifting this to him on Christmas morning, I hope it will bring him joy every time he looks at it.”

“My mom grew up here, I spent a few summers in this house, it was my favorite place to be!”

“This is my family’s farm. There were four houses, my grandparents lived in one, my parents and our family in the second and my dad’s 2 brothers and their families in the other two.It was a dairy farm where we pasteurized and bottled our own milk. They also had farmland that grew corn, beans and milo. My dad is the only one still living on the farm. It was a wonderful place to grow up!”

Nebraska Agricultural Data

  • Number of counties: 93
  • Population: 1,826,341
  • Farms: 47,200 (86% Family Owned)
  • Female Farmers: 6,977
  • Average Farm Size: 966 acres
  • Total Farm Land: 45.6 million acres
  • Agriculture Receipts: 25 Billion

We invite you to come and take a look at these homes and farms in our collection of over 100,000 aerial photos of this great region. Home is the place where you became you. Find your way back!

Louisiana: The Pelican State

Posted on 09/30/2019 by Nathan Lewis in New Content Releases

“Justice, Union and Confidence” is the official state motto

Today, we are excited to announce that nearly 115,000 photos are now available to search and view online. Louisiana was named in honor of King Louis XIV. With its humid, subtropical climate Louisiana is home to 41% of the nation’s wetlands and has 5,000 miles of navigable waterways. You have probably heard of these referred to as a bayou, the French name for slow-moving “river.” The world-famous “Mardi Gras” is celebrated in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is an ancient custom that originated in southern Europe. It celebrates food and fun just before the 40 days of Lent. I have attended this wild event and it is quite the party with live music around every corner. The streets are filled with thousands of people and you can eat some of the best cajun seafood dishes in the world. Louisiana is the only state with a large population of Cajuns, descendants of the Acadians who were driven out of Canada in the 1700s because they wouldn’t pledge allegiance to the King of England. Like most southern states Louisiana has an old history. The first American army to have African American officers was the confederate Louisiana Native Guards. Between 1862, and 1864, 20 major Civil War battles and engagements were fought on Louisiana soil.

Because many of our photos focus on rural farming I always like to give some data on the agriculture industry. Louisiana ranks #1 in the nation in the production of crawfish, shrimp, alligators, menhadden, and oysters. The commercial fishing industry produces 25% of all seafood in the U.S. Forestry is the #1 agriculture industry in Louisiana with its 13.9 million acres of forests. Other top crops are rice, corn, sugarcane, soybeans, and cattle and calves. I think my favorite tidbit is, Louisiana is the sole source of the Tabasco pepper, a popular condiment known around the world. Finally, Louisiana is the 3rd largest producer of petroleum and the 2nd largest producer of natural gas in the U.S.

“This is my father’s farm”

“The tall, white building in the middle of the photo is the Cameron Parish Courthouse. This photo was taken prior to Hurricane Rita which destroyed many of the surrounding buildings.”

“This is my grandparents old house. It is where I currently live now, with very many changes over the years. This was taken the same year I was born. My mom and dad was also married in this front yard that same year.”

Louisiana Agricultural Data

  • Number of Parishes (counties): 64 (Vintage Aerial has photos in 45)
  • Population: 4,410,796
  • Farms: 28,093 (88% Family Owned)
  • Female Farmers: 3,914
  • Average Farm Size: 269 acres
  • Total Farm Land: 8.1 million acres
  • Agriculture Receipts: 3.8 Billion

We invite you to come and take a look at these homes and farms in our collection of nearly 115,000 aerial photos of this great region. Home is the place where you became you. Find your way back!