Swissair Aerial Photographs
The Swissair Aerial Photography Archive
Bird's-eye views of Switzerland: Unique aerial photography from Swissair's archives.
1st edition, 2014
Text English and German
208 pages, 54 color and 96 b/w illustrations
20 x 26 cm
Pictorial Worlds: Photographs from the Image Archive, ETH-Bibliothek. Vol. 4
Aerial photography held a special place in the business of legendary airline Swissair. Before founder Walter Mittleholzer entered the field of civil aviation, he trained as a photographer, and the airline had a subsidiary photo company, Swissair Photo AG, which continues today as BSF Swissphoto even though the airline ceased operations in 2001. The company has taken upwards of 100,000 pictures of landscapes, towns, and villages, along with industrial plants and individual buildings in Switzerland and around the globe.
Swissair Aerial Photographs reproduces these beautiful, striking, and informative photographs. These images reveal the changes in landscapes and towns over nearly a century, documenting the growth of city infrastructures and urban sprawl as this idyllic agricultural country has evolved into one of the most densely inhabited places in the world. The photos are also an inventory of untamed rivers, orchards, receding glaciers and moors, shrinking agricultural areas, and vanished historical buildings. With an introductory essay that explores the contents of the collection now held at ETH-Bibliothek and what can be read from these images today, Swissair Aerial Photographs provides an illuminating look at the history of aerial photography in Switzerland.
Also available in the series Pictorial Worlds: Photographs from the Image Archive, ETH-Bibliothek: