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Unknown Photographer

Survivors of the torpedoed Liberty ship John A. Johnson await rescue after drifting in the Pacific for several hours, 1944
Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print on paper
6 x 8 7/16 in. (15.24 x 21.43 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: P2019.21.766

A group of survivors from the torpedoed Liberty ship John A. Johnson are shown awaiting rescue. They drifted in the Pacific for several hours. On January 19, 1945, the Navy disclosed that the merchant vessel and ten of its crew members were lost off the West Coast in late 1944 due to enemy submarine action.

Sheet: 6 7/8 x 8 13/16

Ferrotyped prints are processed in such a way that they are shiny. The print has a sensitive surface, usually thinner, because it was put through a press while still wet.

Ferrotyped prints have a sensitive surface, usually shiny and thinner, because they are put through a press while still wet. Ferrotyping makes the surface of the photograph smoother. Light does not scatter as much on a smoother surface, so this increases contrast. That makes ferrotyped images better for press photography.

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  • Image Dimensions: 6 x 8 7/16 in. (15.24 x 21.43 cm)

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