Aside from his stunning aerial photography, George Lawrence also came to be known for making the biggest camera of his time. Read on to find out what his mammoth camera was for!
If the early aerial panoramas taken by American commercial photographer George Lawrence wowed you, wait until you see his other massive project: the world’s largest camera of his time, which he used to photograph Chicago & Alton Railway’s Alton Limited locomotive in 1900.
The camera was designed by Lawrence for a commission, and built by Chicago camera maker J.A. Anderson. The mammoth camera, which weighed 1400 pounds (640 kg) and used a 4.5′ × 8′ glass-plate negative, required 15 men to load it into a large, horse-drawn carriage. It reportedly costed Chicago & Alton Railway $5,000 in order to obtain the largest photograph of the Alton Limited, their pride and joy. The company’s pamphlet, which featured Lawrence’s enormous photo, was entitled “The Largest Photograph in the World of the Handsomest train in the World.”
But, it would be a waste to use that expensive and gigantic camera just once, right? Apparently, Lawrence also used it to take the biggest group shots ever: