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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across a photo today of my Grandpa Birkey.



Looks like he is quiet happy with the frame of honey from his hives with knife in hand! Who needs a hive tool! This was taken around the late 40's. Not sure what happened to the top bar.

Here's a photo of the farm as I remember it as a little kid. I remember the tree stump that was rolled out into the driveway under that big tree in the center and chicken heads coming off with their bodies running all over the place. Grandma's garden was to the right of the house.



Today, the old farmstead looks very different.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/I...2!3m1!1s0x880b2d386f6e2619:0x7f15825064115956
 

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It still looks like a farm though. So many of them around here (and I'm sure there too) have become subdivisions filled with lookalike houses.
PS...nice photos!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
:D Lesson learned!

Eight kids were raised on that farm, my Dad being the youngest.



A couple of my uncles stayed with farming and eventually created Birkey's. Was IH, now expanded to Case as well. Now in the hands of my cousin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
According to mom, she thinks photographers took pictures of farms and then hoped the farmer would buy a copy. Here is my oldest uncle around 1940. Yes he flew, but doubt he had a good enough camera for aerial photos.

 

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There was a Federal USDA project to do aerial photographic surveys of all of Illinois from 1936-1941. You can read more about this project here:

http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/isgs

According to the site, many of the images have been scanned into digital form, but I have not seen a link to online access to those files.

Of course, the origin of Barry's images may have been different than the project linked above.
 

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that is a civil air patrol airplane. possibly they also had a quality camera?
If that's a CAP aircraft "around 1940," it would probably be 1942 or later. They went into business within a couple of days of Pearl Harbor.

Sometimes CAP members carried their own cameras ... I don't recall any government-issue cameras. But early in WWII a few of those little Cubs carried 100-lb bombs, to try to nail German subs operating off the East Coast. The CAP is credited with sinking two subs. German sub captains later reported that the "little yellow airplanes" made their lives miserable ... forced them to stay under so they couldn't charge their batteries.
 

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The plane is a 1939 Piper J4a cub coupe. I currently have one my dad and I restored. We also have a 1940 cub that was used for east coast sub patrol.
 

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The plane is a 1939 Piper J4a cub coupe. I currently have one my dad and I restored. We also have a 1940 cub that was used for east coast sub patrol.
Sweet little planes ... and the last I checked much sought-after and way up in price from the old days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys, that's some interesting insight on the plane that I had no knowledge of! I just remember Dad telling his story several times about his older brother (the one in the photo, nearly 20 years difference between them) taking him for a ride and doing a nosedive which left a lasting impression!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I received a bit more information from my uncle, the last surviving of the eight kids. My oldest uncle never did own a plane, so that would have been a rented one from the Champaign airport. He only completed 6th grade, so was never in the Army, but there wasn't anything he couldn't build/make. The thought is still that the aerial photo of the farm was either a moneymaking project or done by the government agricultural organization.
 

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That's some great history there Barry. Keep the legacy going.
Btw... I really enjoy those old pics!
 

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barry the emblem on the airplane is civil air patrol. this was an branch of the air force. the airplane would have been owned by the gov. a interested person could join the cap and fly it nearly free as a member for training. years ago I was a member and used to fly a similar plane as I have a pilots license. It was a cheap way to fly. with the emblem I think it was a cap plane vs owned by the airport. If you can read the n # on the tail you can look up its history as this # is assigned for the airplanes life. good luck with your research.
 
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