Born in New Hampshire in 1825, James Wallace Black came to Boston to try his hand as a painter. He soon discovered the world of photography and he became quite fascinated with taking aerial photos and experimenting with magic lanterns. One of his most notable experiments involved a photograph of downtown Boston that he took from a hot-air balloon on October 13, 1860. The Boston Public Library has created this remarkable digital archive featuring 133 of Black's unique images. Visitors shouldn't miss his iconic 1860 aerial image, along with grand shots of the Charlestown City Hall, Faneuil Hall, Washington Street during a military parade, and a number of other locales throughout the Hub. The site is rounded out by a clutch of photographs documenting the damage wrought by the Boston Fire of 1872.
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