Coo, this is certainly whimsical – who could fail to be impressed by this tale of hi tech spy-pigeons?
Pigeon photography is an aerial photography technique invented in 1907 by the German Julius Neubronner, who also used pigeons to deliver medications. A homing pigeon was fitted with an aluminium breast harness to which a lightweight time-delayed miniature camera could be attached.
In 1903 Julius Neubronner, resumed a practice begun by his father half a century earlier and received prescriptions from a sanatorium in nearby Falkenstein via pigeon post. He delivered urgent medications up to 75 grams (2.6 oz) by the same method, and positioned some of his pigeons with his wholesaler in Frankfurt to profit from faster deliveries himself. When one of his pigeons lost its orientation in fog and mysteriously arrived, well-fed, four weeks late, Neubronner was inspired with the playful idea of equipping his pigeons with automatic cameras to trace their paths. This thought led him to merge his two hobbies into a new “double sport” combining carrier pigeon fancying with amateur photography. (Neubronner later learned that his pigeon had been in the custody of a restaurant chef in Wiesbaden.)