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Unknown Photographer

Nuns of the Sion Convent watching an A.R.P. stretcher party marching out to practice through the convent's garden, West London, October 11, 1939
Vintage wire photograph on paper

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: P2019.21.554

Illustrated: Associated Press ID #3910110216.

Nuns of the Sion Convent watching an A.R.P. stretcher party, wearing anti-gas outfits, marching out through the garden of the convent in West London to practice, October 11, 1939. The Sion Convent is a big first aid post for the Air Raid Precautions organization, and the nuns prepare meals for the A.R.P. workers, London, England.

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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