I noted the other day that the National Library of Scotland mapping archive was growing, as is the National Newspaper archive. Another service that’s quietly gaining content is the Aerofilms archive of aerial photography of Britain from 1919-1953. Aerofilms, as the leader in such imagery for years, jealously guarded their work and getting hold of it has always been difficult and expensive – they did, after all, make commercial hay with the coffee table books of Britain from the Air for the last four decades.
I posted a couple of years ago that the archive was becoming partially available online. The creators said that more images would be added over time, and they’ve been good to their word. Friend of the blog Commander Foxy noted yesterday that great new images of Brownhills Gasworks from 1938 had been added, and I found some interesting 1946 ones of the Conduit Colliery No. 3 slag heap in Norton Canes.
David Evans wand others will be pleased to note the photograph captures Pike Helve by the old Iron Bridge, where the Fortune of War or Pier Inn was; also note the existence of New Street. For those having difficult orienting the Brownhills pictures, the gasometer is almost on exactly the same spot that Humphries House stands on today.
These images are used in accordance with the service license, which, like the NLS mapping service, are eminently sensible. Why not visit the Britain from the Air site and check them out yourselves – you can do so by clicking on any image.