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Military

photographs, photography, balloon, war, positions and purposes

MILITARY PHOTOGRAPHY.—Photography was, employed for military purposes as far back as 1854, when, during the Crimean war, two army officers were specially instructed for the purpose in the wet and dry collodion processes. The results obtained are said to have been so satisfactory as to lead to the establishment of a photographic department in nearly every military college, where men are taught the principal branches of photography.

The introduction of the gelatine dry plate process has caused photography to be of great assistance for military purposes. Officers reconnoitering carry with them light cameras, with which they make views to accompany the report of the reconnaissance.

The plan of making photographs during their work has already been successfuly adopted by engineers so as to convey to those in command accurate information regarding the progress made.

During the Franco-Prussian war homing pigeons were used for the conveyance of letters from the besieged city of Paris. This could hardly have been accomplished without the aid of photography. The messages were all photographed on the collodion films, which were afterwards stripped from the glass. Each film contained no less than 8,000 words, and about twenty or thirty of these were fitted in a small quill tied to the tail feathers of the pigeons. The weight of the whole was less than 15 grains, and did not at all impede the bird in its flight. When these messages were received they were, of course, so small as to be perfectly illegible, but when thrown on to a screen by means of a magic lantern, they could be read with ease.

Photographs were made from captive balloons during the United States rebellion, which showed not only the disposition of the troops, but also the topographical features of the surround ing country. MM. Tissandier and P. Nadar have both been successful in making photographs from a balloon.

The late W. B. Woodbury constructed and patented a balloon camera especially adapted for war purposes. A small balloon only was necessary to carry the camera. which was operated

by the officer on terra firma by means of an electric current passing through the rope that held the balloon captive. By this means photographs could be made showing the positions and move ments of the enemy without risk of life, which was the case when men ascended with the balloon, which was necessarily large, and offered a good target for the enemy.

At the Engineers' School of Photography at Chatham, England, photographs are made of the various articles furnished for field use, and also all experimental structures, whether in the shape of shields, guns, small arms, wagons, rockets, etc. " The results of firing experimentally against plates of different thicknesses are reproduced and preserved ; instructional pictures show ing the methods of making guns of different descriptions, and the positions taken up by individual gunners on the issue of the various orders are taken ; photographs exhibiting the regulation mode of wearing accoutrements ; the precise manner in which the harness of horses is adjusted ; the method of packing wagons, and fitting service saddles ; the mode in which military tents and equipage are set up, as well as the preparation of pictures of newly-adopted stores and implements are among the duties fulfilled at the department.

There is no doubt that should a great war break out, photography would play a very important part.

touching. In the illustrations here given the mirrors are inclosed at an angle of 75 deg , and five reflect ing images are produced. When an exposure is made and the nega tive developed, we not only have the back view of the sitter but the full reflected images in profile, and three -quarter positions as well.

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