THE FIRST AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH OF MACKAY TAKEN IN 1915
TAKEN BY: Mr. Andrew Brough Milne 1890-1979
METHOD: Box Kite and Camera
CAMERA: Home-made Camera constructed from a Benzine tin.
In early 1915 Mr. Milne, then a young man of 25, built a box kite with the intention of obtaining Mackay's first aerial photograph. The only cameras available were those which required a black hood over the operators head. Clearly this was unsuitable, so it was necessary to make a light-weight Camera. The finished device was made from a Benzine (petrol) tin, and had a single lens.
The kite was over-large at almost 6ft. in length, in order to lift the extra weight. It was necessary to have several men to raise the device and hold on to the string (there is some thought that ABM used a winch to control the raising and lowering of the kite - courtesy of Jeff Smith)
It took approximately three quarters of an hour to raise the kite, lower the kite and develop the photograph, (which Mr. Milne did himself) for each snap taken. This was because the Camera could take only one photograph at a time. A gentleman's watch activated the camera, and the photographic process was one of trial and error until the original of the above photograph was obtained. The weather, of course, had to be cloudless and of sufficient wind to lift the kite which flew at an altitude of 1000 feet.
The total process took many days, as early photographs suffered from blur. This was overcome by mounting the camera independently within the kite.
Prior to his death in 1979 Andrew Milne requested his photograph to be on public display for all to enjoy. It was handed to Mackay City Council Library where it is now on display.