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Aerial Balloon Photographs -14th Photo Section. France: 1916-1918. A collection of 357 gelatin silver print photographs measuring 7" x 9.5", most with captions in the margins. Curled edges, a very few with small tears, overall very good or better. An archive of United States Army aerial photographs documenting the Western Front during World War I by the 14th Photo Section, 1st Army. The photographs depict over 24 French and Belgium cities, many of which were located along the border of Imperial Germany. Seen throughout the photos are the landscape of the Western Front, rivers, villages, and vast areas of countryside which include the ruins of towns which saw a significant amount of action. One photo shows a long line of tents which belong to a G.RS. camp (Graves Registration Service. The U.S. began their reconnaissance towards the end of the war using a combination of airplane and balloons reconnaissance. Balloon were typically tethered above the battlefield and manned with several observers who could communicate with the ground with signals or through telegraphy. It was dangerous work with the balloon crew at risk from enemy airplanes and incendiary shells. Many of the photography here are marked in the upper left corner of the print "14th Photo Section," as well as along the bottom edge with the number, location, and (we assume) coordinates of the balloon of the images. With the increasing sophistication of airplane photography, balloon reconnaissance was phased out altogether following the war. An extensive accumulation of images documenting the end of aerial balloon photography. (From dealer catalog)