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United States Department of Defense Photographer

The battleship Nevada enveloped in smoke and flame during Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
Wire photograph on paper
6 1/2 x 8 7/8 in. (16.51 x 22.54 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: P2019.21.792

The battleship Nevada, right, is enveloped in smoke and flame during the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. A port installation at left goes up in flame as crew of a small craft in the foreground attempts to man guns, Hawaii, December 7th, 1941.

Sheet: 8 x 9 7/8

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: 6 1/2 x 8 7/8 in. (16.51 x 22.54 cm)

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