The photographers of Lilienthal
each a pioneer himself -
presentation of Lilienthal's photographers is taken from the book
"Der Mensch fliegt" of Werner Schwipps.
Carl Kassner a meteorologist from Berlin was the first one who took pictures of Lilienthal namely attempts in Derwitz in 1891 and in Berlin-Südende in 1892. In 1890 Kassner became a member of the Prussian Meteorological Institute. The most distinguished representatives of this institute played an important role in the society for promoting aviation. His acquaintance with Lilienthal probably comes from there. In January 1892 Kassner became a member of the society himself, he did his doctorate in the same year. Later he took part at several scientific balloon trips of the society. At these trips he tested new meteorological instruments and got a reputation for excellent pictures of clouds.
Anschütz took over the photo studio of his father in 1868 and was devoted to the development of the moment- photography from 1882 onwards. In the same year he already came up with the first usable focal-plane shutter, which was placed directly in front of the negative sheet. In 1888 he opened a branch in Berlin and chose the capital as his permanent residence.
The "Schnellseher" (quick viever) of Anschütz was a precursor of the cinematography. Some apparatuses were exhibited in Berlin at that time and were set into motion by putting in coins. The series pictures were placed onto a disc and were converted into moving pictures through rotating the disc. The "Schnellseher" were produced of the company Siemens & Halske in Berlin and became a special attraction at the world exposition in 1893 in Chicago.
Some photographs out of the series "storks" and "shots of a crane" could be found in Lililienthal's estate. That's why we think that the acquaintance of Anschütz with Lilienthal already results from the studies of bird flight.
The professional photographer Alex Krajewsky took the moment-pictures of the attempts in summer 1893 in the Rhinow Hills. Alex Krajewsky had his first studio in Spandau near Berlin. He rose to the position of the court photographer of Prince Aribert of Anhalt.
By now it is doubtful if A. Krajewski did the pictures of the flights in Rhinow himself. His assistant Henry Magel could have done them as well.
The general practitioner Dr. Richard Neuhauss from Berlin, being a passionate amateur photographer, did several pictures of the flights at the flying-hill in 1895. We owe the most moment pictures of Lilienthal to him. Among them are photos of the so-called "Vorflügelapparat" and of both biplanes.
Lilienthals paper "Fliegesport and Fliegepraxis", which was published in 1895 in "Prometheus", has the footnote: "The photographs were made by Drs. Neuhaus and Fuelleborn, who used secret-camera constructed by Dr. Neuhauss on the Stegemann principle."
About Mr. Fülleborn we do not know anything. Stegemanns Secret-Camera was named after the Company A. Stegemann from Berlin. Light and externally unobtrusive hand cameras, with which moment pictures could be done quickly and discreetly, were called secret cameras at that time. It was said that the company, which was initially an art carpenter's workshop, was unequalled in making wooden cameras.
Stegemanns secret camera had an unusual light-strong lens of the company Zeiß with a focal length of 10,5 cm. The width of the focal-plane shutter was adjustable between 0,2 and 8 cm. The shutter had a particularly smooth and steady running and made, in combination with the Zeißlens, short exposure times possible even under limited lighting conditions. So did Neuhauss for example make the pictures of the Vorflügelapparat at the flying-hill at the 29th of May in 1895 between 6 and 6.30 p.m. He used sheets of the format 9*12 cm and usually took the pictures with no hands.
He probably made acquaintance with Lilienthal in the Society for promoting aviation, too. He submitted cloud pictures to the society in 1892 which he made from the ground. From 1894 onwards he was for nearly one and a half decade the publisher of the magazine "Photographische Rundschau" (photographic review).
The studio of the photographer A. Regis was situated in the Prinzenstraße in Berlin not far from the engineering works of Lilienthal. The name appears in connection with Lilienthal in 1889 for the first time.
At that time Lilienthal prepared his third speech of the series "Kraftaufwand beim Vogelfluge und seinen Einfluß auf die Möglichkeiten des freien Fliegens". He did the lecture on the 15th of April in the hall of the Royal War Academy in front of the Society for Promoting Aviation. His brother Gustav Lilienthal wrote about it to his fiancée Anna Rothe: "He will do the experimental proof that wind has got an upwards direction with the help of moment photography. I recommended Regis."
We do not know if the pictures planned were really made, probably not, because these photos have not turn up anywhere. But Regis actually took pictures of the biplane when in the air later at the flying-hill. He probably made portraits of Lilienthal and both photos of the crash apparatus in August 1896, too. It is possible that he took the pictures of the crashed monoplane in the yard of the engineering works on official behalf, because there was an investigation about a possible outside encumbrance of Lilienthals crash.
P. W. Preobrashenski
About the Russian photographer P. W. Preobrashenski, who took several pictures of experiments about control mechanism at the Vorflügelapparat, we do not know much. Only in 1961 his pictures became known in Germany when the magazine "Deutsche Flugtechnik" printed two essays of Nikolai Shukowski from 1896 and 1897 again. The essays were illustrated with a great number of flight pictures. Preobrashenski took three of them.
Robert W. Wood
The American Robert W. Wood took three pictures of Lilienthals flights with the great biplane on the 2nd of August in 1896 at the Gollenberg near Stölln, one week before the deadly crash at the same place. These pictures became only known in Germany a few years ago, too.
In 1894 Wood came to Berlin after finishing his studies of science and became the assistant of the well-known physicist Prof. Heinrich Rubens at the university. A few years later he became a Professor for experimental physics at the Johns-Hopkins-University in Baltimore/Maryland himself. He became popular through research in the field of physics optic and, so said qualified contemporaries, got close to the Nobel Prize.
Wood made the acquaintance with Lilienthal probably at the Society for Promoting Aviation as well, because he was long interested in the flight question. He visited Lilienthal on the 1st of August in 1896 in the engineering works and drove with him to Stölln the next day. There the amateur photographer took his pictures. These are the only flight pictures we have of the hill Gollenberg. Wood reported detailed about his meeting with Lilienthal, and about his biplane flights at the Gollenberg in a magazine article published on the 31st of October in 1896.