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Unknown Photographer

General George S. Patton, Jr. lies buried under a plain white cross in the U.S. military cemetery at Hamm, Luxembourg, January 1946
Vintage wire photograph with applied pigment on paper

Creation Place: Europe
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.290

The body of the late General George S. Patton, Jr. lies buried under a plain white cross in the U.S. military cemetery at Hamm, Luxembourg. His grave is next to that of PFC John Przywara, of Detroit, Michigan. Patton wished a battlefield burial. He died of complications following an automobile-truck crash, January 1946. George Smith Patton Jr. (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a United States Army general who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean Theater of World War II, and the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Winston Churchill came to visit Patton’s grave in July of 1946.

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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