Shippee-Johnson Peruvian Expedition (1931)

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The 1931 Shippee-Johnson Peruvian Expedition, which lasted eight months, including 454 hours of flight time, was undertaken to create an aerial survey of the Pacific coast and Andes region of Peru. It was the first use of aerial photography to locate and document both archaeological sites and geographical features in South America.

The survey covered several thousands of kilometers of terrain, with specific emphasis on prehistoric ruins, lost villages and unusual landforms. Photographs of indigenous people were also taken on the ground.

Robert Shippee was a Harvard-educated geologist and pilot.

Inspired by Johnson's photographs, published in 1930, Shippee raised funds from his family and friends, as well as from the American Geographical Society and the National Geographical Society, to mount this new expedition only a few months after Johnson's return from his first trip to Peru.

George R. Johnson was a pioneer in aerial photography.

Johnson served as an aerial photographer with the U.S. Army in France in World War I; was chief photographer of the Peruvian Naval Air Service and instructor in aerial photography at the naval air base at Ancón from 1928 through 1929; and founded the Servicio Aerofotographico Nacional (SAN-the National Aerial Photograph Service). Some of his photographs from this period were published in his 1930 book, Peru from the air.

From the description of Shippee-Johnson photograph collection [graphic]. [1931] (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 55873341

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Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Shippee-Johnson Peruvian Expedition (1931). Shippee-Johnson photograph collection [graphic]. American Museum of Natural History
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pacific Coast (Peru)
Aerial photography in archaeology
Earthworks (Archaeology)
Indians of South America
Scientific expeditions

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Ark ID: w64r25xk

SNAC ID: 45817799