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Unknown Photographer

Finnish Army Ambulance Corps taking their wounded to field dressing stations on the Karelian Front after a Soviet attack, December 1939
Vintage wire photograph on paper
5 7/8 x 7 15/16 in. (14.92 x 20.16 cm)

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: P2019.21.826

Members of the Finnish Army Ambulance Corps are taking their wounded to field dressing stations on the Karelian Front after a Soviet attack. Casualties were heavy, but not nearly as heavy as those of the Red Army invaders. Neutral estimates place Russian dead at 30,000. Today, apparently despairing of cracking the Mannerheim Line across the Karelian Isthmus by direct assault, the Red invaders contented themselves with long range shelling, somewhere in Karelia, December 1939.

Sheet: 6 9/16 x 8 3/8

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: 5 7/8 x 7 15/16 in. (14.92 x 20.16 cm)

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