Skip to Main Content

Aerial Photographs of Buffalo and WNY: Fairchild Aerial Surveys (1927-1929)

Last Updated: Apr 20, 2022 1:01 PM


Photo Sources

Origins of the Photographs

1927-1929 Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc., New York, N.Y.

  • Coverage: Erie County, N.Y. and small section of Cattaraugus County, N.Y.
  • Scale: ca.1:9,500
  • Codes: 8187, 8225, 8226, 8275, 8326

The 1927-1929 collection of photographs were produced by the Fairchild Aerial Survey, Inc. Sherman Mills Fairchild, who was born in New York State, took great interest in the role of airplanes and photography. His company, Fairchild Aerial Survey, Inc., produced thousands of aerial photographs of the United States and Mexico. Its vast collection has been dispersed and collections of these photos are in libraries across the country. One of the largest collections of Fairchild aerial photos is the Fairchild Aerial Photography Collection at University of California at Santa Barbara. The National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution also has a large collection of Fairchild and USGS aerial photos, as does the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress.

Technical Note on the Photographs

The entire aerial collection is made up of contact proofs of the negatives that were shot. These vary in quality and some contain imperfections caused by the processing of these contacts. Also, some frames are missing from the collection. These prints were given to the University Libraries "as is" and what was missing when we received them cannot be replaced.

The scale of the 1927-1929 photographs was approximated by calculating a sampling of photographs. Because of altitude variations, the scale varies slightly throughout the series.

Requesting Aerial Photographs

Requests to obtain copies of aerial photographs must be made through Kimberly Plassche.

Scans of photos from our collection may be sent upon request, dependent on the scale of your project and geographical area needed. Researchers are also invited to email Kimberly Plassche to schedule an in-person consultation with the aerial photos.

Aerial photographs by Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc. are still under copyright and may not be used in publications without permission. It is the user's responsibility to obtain permission. 

Please cite the Western New York Aerial Photograph Collection at the University at Buffalo when using any of these images.


Profile Photo
Kimberly Plassche
108A Lockwood Library, North Campus