Past Meeting

At our public meeting on Sunday, October 19, 2008 and again by popular demand at a special meeting on November 16, 2008 the featured presentation was:

A Birds-Eye View of Tredyffrin and Easttown:
Photographs from the Dallin Aerial Survey Company, 1924 - 1941

by Roger Thorne and Mike Bertram

Paoli, Pennsylvania, looking northwest, 1926 (Courtesy of Hagley Museum)

For 17 years, from 1924 to 1941, pilot J. Victor Dallin, a former member of the Royal Air Force and veteran of the First World War, owned and operated the Dallin Aerial Survey Company. Based at the small Philadelphia Municipal Airport (near where the International Airport stands today), his company took thousands of aerial photographs throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, most in the Delaware Valley, and a great many across the Upper Main Line. Whether photographing towns, estates, industries or farms, the results of their work were amazing.

Using open airplanes and specially-designed aerial cameras with 8x10 inch glass plate negatives, the clarity of these images were useful and sought after at the time they were taken. These images today are simply invaluable in better understanding the details of our area from a simpler age. 


Recently the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society worked with the Pictorial Collections Department of the Hagley Library in Wilmington, Delaware to purchase the rights for, and digitize in a high-resolution format, over 60 images taken of our area. Selected images of Paoli, the village of Cedar Hollow, the Great Valley, and Valley Forge State Park were explored a remarkable level of detail to the delight of a large and enthusiastic audience who contributed many interesting observations and anecdotes.


Biographical Information

Society president Roger Thorne has a long-standing interest in historic aviation. Society member and historian Mike Bertram manages the Society's image archives and has done research on local historical geography. They worked together to arrange the acquisition of the photo collection from the Hagley Museum.


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