Location: First Floor Gallery
Drawn from the archives of the society, the images include views of downtown, the center city, the Burlington Railroad shops, select factory complexes and neighborhoods. The oldest views are the so-called birdseye maps, created in the 1860s and 1880s. Not photographs, these were drawn by artists who literally walked the streets of the town, sketching as they went, and then, back in their studios, added the sketches to a map outline. Most birdseye maps in the U.S. were commissioned by municipalities wishing to showcase the vitality and economic promise of their cities.
The earlier photographs in the exhibit were taken from high buildings such as the Leland Hotel, while later pictures were taken from airplanes and, most recently, drones. Images like this were commissioned for commercial purposes by the city or city departments,and business owners. Also included in the exhibit are photographs taken by hobbyists.