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Unknown Photographer

A street in Compiegne, France, shelled by Germans in the advance on Paris, is cleared of wreckage, September 23, 1944
Vintage wire photograph on paper
4 11/16 x 9 9/16 in. (11.91 x 24.29 cm)

Creation Place: Europe
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.213

Illustrated: Associated Press ID #440923048.

A street in Compiegne, France is cleared of wreckage on September 23, 1944. It was shelled by Germans in the advance on Paris. In the background, a crane continues the work of cleaning up debris. The French city, 50 miles northeast of Paris, was made famous by two armistice conferences--the one fixed by Marshal Foch in 1918, and the second dictated by Adolf Hitler in 1940.

Sheet: 5 x 9 7/8

Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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  • Image Dimensions: 4 11/16 x 9 9/16 in. (11.91 x 24.29 cm)

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