Historic Aerial Photos
The Virginia Tech Library has from its geology library a large collection of aerial photographs from various time periods covering different counties in Virginia. There are photos from the 1930s, 1950s, and 1970s.
Here is a section of a 1953 overflight of Giles County showing the Virginian power plant at Narrows, taken on November 8, 1953.
Here is the full view of the portion of the top part of the full photo that the section was cropped from:
Here is a section of a 1953 overflight of Giles County showing the Klotz quarry operation, across the New River from Ripplemead, taken on November 8, 1953.
Roanoke County was photographed in 1937, 1953, and later. Here is a view of a portion of Roanoke City
(those with a fast connection can click on the image to see a larger version -- it is a 9.7 MB file, 5611 X 5543). There is an even larger 435 Mb file available, RoanokeCity1937.tif
Here are two images clipped out of the larger image:
Here is a view of Roanoke City from October 31 and November 2, 1953, from the west end of the N&W yard to east of Vinton.
(those with a fast connection can click on the image to see a larger version -- it is a 528 MB file, 1400 X 777). There is an even larger 31.2 Mb file available, Roanoke_Panorama1953.jpg