The marriage of Black’s camera and King’s balloon inaugurated the combination of technologies that created modern aerial intelligence. Just two years later, the Union Army would use aerial imagery captured from balloons to observe Confederate troops in Virginia.
Of the historic photo, Harvard professor Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote "Boston, as the eagle and wild goose see it, is a very different object from the same place as the solid citizen looks up at its eaves and chimneys. The Old South and Trinity Church are two landmarks not to be mistaken. Washington Street slants across the picture as a narrow cleft. Milk Street winds as if the old cowpath which gave it a name had been followed by the builders of its commercial palaces. Windows, chimneys, and skylights attract the eye in the central parts of the view, exquisitely defined, bewildering in numbers.... As a first attempt it is on the whole a remarkable success; but its greatest interest is in showing what we may hope to see accomplished in the same direction."