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A U.S. tank and infantrymen advance on a Japanese pillbox at the edge of the airfield on Orote Point, Guam. The tank is firing point-blank at the pillbox., August 1944
Vintage wire photograph on paper
7 1/16 x 9 1/4 in. (17.94 x 23.5 cm)

Creation Place: Oceania
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.739

This action photo of the fighting on Guam Island shows tank and infantrymen advancing on a Japanese concrete pillbox at the edge of the airfield on Orote Point. The tank is firing point-blank at the pillbox, uprooting trees in its wake--note the flying debris at left of picture. As the attack pressed close, the Yank fighters could hear the explosion of a hand grenade from inside the pillbox as the Japanese committed suicide, August 1944.

Sheet: 8 7/16 x 9 9/16

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: 7 1/16 x 9 1/4 in. (17.94 x 23.5 cm)

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