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Unknown Photographer

Assistant Labor Secretary Jesse Ernest Wilkins as he arrives at the White House. He sat in on the Cabinet meeting with President Eisenhower., August 18, 1954
Vintage wire photograph on paper
8 1/8 x 5 15/16 in. (20.64 x 15.08 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.895

A black American attended a Cabinet meeting today for the first in history: Assistant Labor Secretary Jesse Ernest Wilkins, shown as he arrived at the White House. He sat in on the Cabinet meeting with President Eisenhower for Secretary Mitchell. Mitchell was away from the Capital on a speaking engagement, Washington DC.

Jesse Ernest Wilkins, Jr. (1923-2011) was an black nuclear scientist, mechanical engineer and mathematician. He entered the University of Chicago at the age of 13, becoming its youngest ever student. His intelligence led to him being called a "black genius" in the media. As part of a widely varied and notable career, Wilkins contributed to the Manhattan Project during the Second World War.

On verso: date stamp and typewritten label with title and date affixed.

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: 8 1/8 x 5 15/16 in. (20.64 x 15.08 cm) Measured by Cornejo-Reynoso, Aitzin
  • Sheet Dimensions: 9 x 6 1/4 in. (22.86 x 15.88 cm) Measured by Cornejo-Reynoso, Aitzin

Your current search criteria is: Keyword is "GJM" and [Object]Object Type is "Photography".

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