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NAR'S IN-HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY

National Aerial Resources is the owner of 5 individual collections of historical aerial  photography: The Jack Ammann Collection, the Rist-Frost Collection, the TVGA Collection, the All States Aerial Surveys Collection, and the Sanborn Mapping Collection.  These valuable collections contain historical coverages for all of the Continental United States, over a variety of years ranging from the early 1940's to the early 1990's.

Click on the links below for more detailed information about these historical aerial photography collections.





The Jack Ammann Collection

Collection Overview: Coverages - Years - Scales

Company History

The Jack Ammann organization was formed in the early 1930's and consistently maintained a highly skilled staff of photogrammetrists during its long existence.  In 1954 the firm was incorporated in the State of Texas as a public stock corporation.

By 1960 the organization employed approximately 100 engineers, surveyors, pilots, photographers, instrument operators, draftsmen, technicians, and administrative personnel devoted to all phases of aerial photography, photogrammetry and related fields of engineering and exploration services.  The firm also engaged in a significant amount of research and development both under contract and for the direct purpose of developing superior methods and techniques for the benefit of its clients.

The home office and major facility of the organization was maintained in a three-storey building containing approximately 40,000 square feet of floor space.  The complete facility of Jack Ammann, Inc., was acquired at an investment in excess of $1,000,000 in the 1950s.  A fleet of photographic aircraft was kept in operation, capable of accomplishing all types of aerial photography from altitudes of a few hundred feet to over 30,000 feet.  A varied selection of camera types, including the most modern versions of foreign and domestic manufactured at the time, were maintained for immediate operation.  Camera types ranged from extremely long focal lengths with motion compensating systems to five inch focal lengths for specialized uses.  Of significant interest was the exclusive aerial color photographic system developed by the Ammann research and development group.  This system provided the capability for aerial color photography at varying altitudes and conditions.

In addition to the home office facility, complete with laboratory equipment capable of accomplishing any type of production or reproduction required by the photographic or mapping operations of the day, there was a complete mobile laboratory for black and white or color aerial photographic processing and supplementary mobile equipment primarily used for foreign projects.  The stereoscopic instrument department contained two first order universal instruments, sixteen second order plotters and complimentary instruments providing the widest range of operating characteristics possible.  Electronic digitizing devices of the time were utilized to the fullest extent in producing digital information directly from the stereo instruments without intermediate transcriptions.  The output devices were able to be programmed to produce IBM card printed listings or punched paper tape.

National Aerial Resources acquired this collection in 1992 from Intrasearch, Inc., the company that purchased the assets of Jack Ammann PE.



The TVGA Collection

Collection Overview: Coverages - Years - Scales

Company History

Tallamy VanKuran Gertis & Associates, now known as TVGA Consultants, have been in business since the 1920's. Based in New York, the company has evolved into a consulting firm with 4 branches providing surveying, environmental solutions, photogrammetry / aerial mapping, engineering, planning, and architectural services to the public and private sectors throughout New York State and across the United States. To facilitate servicing their clients' historical perspective needs, over the years TVGA added aerial film collections from Rist-Frost Associates, and All-States Aerial Surveys to their own.

By the late 1990's, changes in their business focus made a large, historical photography collection unnecessary and they transferred the oldest portions of their collection to National Aerial Resources.



The Sanborn Mapping Collection

Collection Overview: Coverages - Years - Scales

Company History

The Sanborn Mapping Company has been in existence since 1866. They started out producing detailed city maps for fire insurance purposes. These maps came to represent over 12,000 communities across the United States and their digital descendants are still being updated today. The Sanborn Mapping Company has always adapted to the changing face of the map making industry and added aerial photography and photogrammetry to it's procedures early in the history those fields. In 1990's they became a subsidiary of EDR, Inc. and has since become the a large company with offices across the USA.

It was during National Aerial Resources' former association with EDR, Inc. that portions to Sanborn's film collection was turned over to our possession.



The Rist-Frost Collection

Collection Overview: Coverages - Years - Scales

Company History

Rist-Frost Associates was a company with a long and interesting history.  In the early 1950's, the company was based in Watertown, NY as an architect-engineering firm. Back then it was known as Sargent-Webster-Crenshaw-Folley. Around this time it got into the photogrammetry business and started taking aerial photography to use in it's aerial mapping. Through the years the company grew, opened other offices in New York State, and took on new partners, changing it's name from time to time to reflect this.  In addition to Sargent-Webster-Crenshaw-Folley, it has been known as Lewis-Dickerson Associates; Dickerson, Czerwinski & Warneck; and Rist-Frost, Warneck and Partners, before shortening the name to Rist-Frost Associates.

The company closed it's aerial mapping division in the early 1980's and transferred all it's film to TVGA. NAR acquired the Rist-Frost film as part of the TVGA Collection.



The All-States Aerial Surveys' Collection

Collection Overview: Coverages - Years - Scales

Company History

Very little about this collection's history is currently known to us. National Aerial Resources acquired this collection as part of the TVGA collection. Most of this photography covers Pennsylvania where the company was apparently based. Unfortunately, not much of the collection came with indexes. But all the locations were carefully cataloged. In our on-going indexing / researching of this collection we've also come across indications that either the company had previously been known as Lanse Aerial Surveys, or that All-States Aerial Surveys had acquired their collection prior to giving it to TVGA.



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