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Unknown Photographer

Aluminum pots and pans clutter a London sidewalk, contributed by housewives to aid in the manufacture of aircraft, July 1940
Vintage wire photograph 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: P2019.21.571

With England in a fight to the finish mood, every resource of the Empire is rapidly being brought into play for the manufacture of war materials. Even the kitchens of the British Isles are not exempt. Here is a stack of aluminum pots and pans cluttering a London sidewalk, contributed by housewives to aid in the manufacture of fighting airplanes, July 1940. Part of the ‘appeal for aluminum’ /aluminum drive.

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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