Modern satellite imagery has high spatial resolution, multispectral capability, and high temporal resolution. Early aerial photography was panchromatic, on-demand, and of nominal visual quality. While modern remote sensing research tends to focus on the development of new sensor technologies and algorithm improvement, the relationship between human and machine continues to evolve, largely unnoticed. The evolving relationship between man and machine is best understood retrospectively, examining historical texts published during this time. In this talk we will explore some of the more interesting themes that arose from texts developed during the developmental years.