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United States Department of Defense Photographer

Destroyers Downes and Cassin in dry-dock at Pearl Harbor are battered by Japanese bombs. The battleship Pennsylvania in background suffered only minor damage., December 7, 1941
Wire photograph on paper
8 11/16 x 6 3/8 in. (22.07 x 16.19 cm)

Creation Place: North America, American
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.791

Illustrated: Associated Press ID #41120702650.

In this image provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, destroyers in dry-dock at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii are battered by bombs after the Japanese sneak attack on December 7, 1941. The battleship Pennsylvania, which suffered only minor damage, is in the background. The destroyers are the Downes at left and the Cassin at right. Machinery and fittings were transferred to new hulls, and the destroyers were never stricken from Navy's active list.

Sheet: 9 7/8 x 8

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 11/16 x 6 3/8 in. (22.07 x 16.19 cm)

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