Between 1908 and 1909, Neubronner's pigeon camera was covered in various newspapers, including the New-York Daily Tribune, The Columbian, the Los Angeles Herald and Northern Star (based in New South Wales, Australia). The inventor gained further notoriety in 1909 when he appeared at the International Photographic Exhibition in Dresden and International Aviation Exhibition in Frankfurt, as well as the Paris Air Show in 1910 and 1911. He won various awards at these events, but also seized a commercial opportunity. Visitors could watch the arrival of his flock, and from his horse-drawn dovecote and compact darkroom, he would develop the images his pigeon cameras had just taken and sell them as postcards.
Not only was it a strange spectacle, but a notable advancement in aerial photography. Previous methods were elaborate, requiring complicated equipment and setup. The pigeon camera was small, elegant and mobile. To Neubronner, it wasn't just a hobby or a commercial novelty; he saw potential military applications in reconnaissance and surveillance as well. Despite some logistical issues, most notably getting pigeons to return to a dovecote that by necessity had to move around, Neubronner gained the interest of the Prussian War Ministry.
In order to demonstrate their worth, Neubronner photographed a waterworks in Tegal, Germany, using only his birds, and was due to negotiate a state purchase of his invention in the summer of 1914 after a trial run in Strasbourg for the military's benefit. But just weeks prior, World War I broke out and he was forced to turn over his pigeons and cameras to the state before striking a deal. The birds were initially used for reconnaissance, apparently with some success, but were soon demoted to message carriers, which was seen as a more valuable post during the drawn-out conflict. Neubronner's dovecote was present at the Battle of Verdun, and proved so useful that pigeon messengers were drafted in in bigger numbers at the Battle of the Somme.