A friend forwarded me this email and I thought I would share it with the MissPresiverse. VintageAerial.com (tagline: “Discover Rural America’s Heritage”) has recently published a portion of the Mississippi aerial photos in their collection. Coverage is spotty and it dates to the 1980s, not the 1950s as I had hoped when I first saw it, but they say they have 2 million photos in their collection, so hopefully it will fill in over time. Unlike other aerial photo collection taken for governmental purposes, these were aerial photos taken for commercial purposes, primarily of farms and rural areas, to sell to the owners, and perhaps as postcards.
Although you can search by address, the easiest way I’ve found to search is through the map interface, which shows you which counties have photos and which don’t, and then you can scroll in to see if there’s coverage of a particular property in that county.
You can create an account for free and if you are lucky enough to be able to identify some of the pictures, you can gather points toward buying a print. Some users have thousands of tags, so we have some catching up to do! I just joined, and so far I haven’t found a building I can identify, but I must admit I spent most of an evening just scrolling through roll after roll of aerials finding trailer parks and gas stations and lots of farmhouses in the middle of cotton fields–ADDICTION WARNING!!