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Unknown Photographer

Shanty town in Tokyo where the homeless have set up small huts, pieced together from scrap material, 1945
Vintage wire photograph on paper
6 9/16 x 8 3/8 in. (16.67 x 21.27 cm)

Creation Place: Asia
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.516

Tokyo and its people are shown in these new photos, released Wednesday. This view is of a “shanty town”, where the homeless have set up housekeeping in small huts, pieced together from scrap material. Rubble from bomb damage can be seen, 1945.

Sheet: 7 1/16 x 8 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 9/16 x 8 3/8 in. (16.67 x 21.27 cm)

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