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Unknown Photographer

(active )

Members of an antiaircraft gun crew of the Dutch Army pause for lunch during recent maneuvers in Amsterdam, April 1939
Vintage wire photograph with applied pigment 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: P2019.21.295

Commentary
Members of an antiaircraft gun crew of the Dutch Army pause for lunch during recent maneuvers in Amsterdam. Monday night the Netherlands called up reserves for military duty because of “war danger”, April 1939.

Materials
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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