Cyril E Murrell founded Aero Pictorial Limited in 1934, after having worked for Aerofilms since 1921. Murrell specialised in taking oblique aerial photographs and he left Aerofilms to found his own company when Aerofilms decided to invest their resources in taking more commercially-lucrative vertical aerial photographs.
|Cyril Murrell photographed in 1925, during his employment with Aerofilms. He is holding a Thornton and Pickard camera, originally developed by the Royal Flying Corps for reconnaissance use during the First World War.|
Following the death of Murrell in 1958, the company ceased operations and its archive of oblique aerial photographs was acquired by Aerofilms in 1960. In 1997, the Simmons Geomatics Group acquired Aerofilms and its collections, including Aero Pictorial, and became Simmons Aerofilms Limited in 2002. Three years later, Blom ASA, a Norwegian multi-national geographical information company, purchased Simmons Aerofilms Ltd.
In 2007, the collection of Aerofilms and Aero Pictorial negatives and glass plates held by Blom ASA was purchased by a partnership of English Heritage, RCAHMS and RCAHMW, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Foyle Foundation and other donors. In 2014, as a result of this funding, over 600 oblique aerial photographs of Scotland taken by Aero Pictorial Ltd were preserved, digitised, re-housed, catalogued and uploaded to both the NCAP and Britain from Above websites.