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Unknown Photographer

Overcrowed Japanese wounded in the hold of a seized Japanese hospital ship are now being guarded by a U.S. Marine, PFC Frank Pisani, August 1945
Vintage wire photograph on paper
6 1/4 x 8 1/8 in. (15.88 x 20.64 cm)

Creation Place: Unknown
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.858

These Japanese wounded, crowded like cattle by the Japanese in the hold of a Japanese hospital ship, are now being guarded by U.S. Marine PFC Frank Pisani, 21, of Boston, Massachusetts. The ship was seized when a routine inspection revealed guns and ammunition aboard. Ventilation in the hold was poor, and all sanitary facilities were lacking. The ship, carrying Red Cross signs and banners, was taken into custody by a U.S. warship and escorted to an Allied port.

Sheet: 7 x 8 13/16

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: 6 1/4 x 8 1/8 in. (15.88 x 20.64 cm)

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