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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #5, Page #24
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Find Your Family Farm In Old Aerial Photo Archive

With more than 25 million black and white negatives in their archives, odds are good that Vintage Aerial can find an old aerial photo of your farm or maybe a farm you grew up on. For three years, Ken Krieg and his staff of computer techies have been scanning negatives taken by Krieg's family's business started back in 1952. More than 1.5 million photos are already online, but all the photos in the archive can be searched.
  "We figure every photo of a farmstead is connected to about 30 people," Krieg says. "We are trying to reach the second, third and fourth generations." With many of the farms gone, descendants are often interested in preserving that part of their family history.
  Nearly 60 years ago, Krieg's family started the business, taking photos from a two-seater prop plane in the heartland of Ohio. They expanded to 44 states and gathered 16 million images, with some farms being photographed several times. Recently Krieg acquired another 9 million images from another company.
  Since door-to-door salesmen sold the photos, and residents often weren't home, Krieg estimates about 80 percent of the photos were never purchased.
  Go to the companys's website, and type in your county and state to find out how many photos were taken and in what years. Fill out a form with a current address and researchers will layer current maps over old maps to find the farm.
  "If the farm is gone, we just need an address of anything on that road," Krieg says.
  An archive librarian will call and go through a slideshow of photos (via the internet) to find the right one. Often several photos were taken through the years, and customers like to purchase all of them for a collection to hang on the wall, Krieg says.
  "People get excited when they can see the farm at a time when it was still active," he explains. "About 40 percent of the farms in the images are gone today. So to find these images is really cool."
  Vintage Aerial sells the photos with various sizes, options and frames, starting at $149 up to $449 for a framed 20 by 30-in. print.
  Krieg emphasizes that he knows not everyone will buy, but he hopes they check out the website.
  "I'd like to see this site become a place where people share stories - like a social network," Krieg says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Krieg, Vintage Aerial, 223 Allen St., Maumee, Ohio 43537 (ph 419 509-1668; ken@vintageaerial.com; www.vintageaerial.com).
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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #5