All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vintage Aerial Photos of Maine Farms

Steve Berry of Vintage Aerial is traveling the back roads of Maine, trying to identify farms photographed from the air 40 years ago.
Berry, age 67 and retired from his job as a salesman for an aerial photo company, learned a few years ago that a rival company, State Aerial Farm Statistics Inc., had at least 25 million aerial photos of farms squirreled away in a warehouse in Toledo. The photos date back to the 1960s and are a visual record of the changing American rural landscape.

Berry convinced State Aerial that the vintage photos, combined with the farms' histories and stories of the people who lived there, would make good books – books people would be willing to buy. They hired him to do some old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting county by county.
Berry has 1,565 rolls of film from Maine, each roll containing 36 exposures. In recent weeks, he's been driving around Somerset County, and plans to be in Aroostook County by May 1. He travels five days a week, trying to set foot in every Maine county and looking for volunteers to help him track down the farms and interview the residents. [Link]

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