Photo historians generally consider a "yard-long"
photo to be panoramic, or extreme wide-angle, of a scenic view
or of a large group of people. Normally the result is a wide
image of narrow height, but not actually limited to exactly a
yard (or 36 inches) in width. A "yard-long" can be
anywhere from about 18 inches to 42 inches wide. Special large-negative
camera's were invented in the late 1800's where yard-longs were
virtually free of distortion. This was achieved with the use
of a short telephoto lens that rotated as the image was exposed
to the film plane. The resulting print was actually the same
size as the negative, in what is called "contact printing,"
which accounts for the extreme high resolution.
Improved versions of these huge, cumbersome
camera's were fortunately still in use during WWII, as demonstrated
by their use for countless, very impressive U.S. military groupings.
We are happy to present here a few, but we hope a growing number,
of 3rd Armored Division yard-longs that have survived the decades
in good condition. We have also included a "quasi"
yard-long in the form of a 1983 3AD reunion photo, which was
taken with a normal large-format camera with a normal wide angle