Original negative of Roosevelt declaring war on Japan

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by BlueLemon, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. BlueLemon

    BlueLemon Member

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    :D

    I just bought a 5x7 original glassnegative of Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the wardeclaration towards Japan on December 8.th 1941

    Also 2 other original glassnegatives - One from Pearl Habour with the ship USS Oklahoma photographed from starbord keel (sunk on December 7.th 1941)

    and then finally one negative with marines preparing for fight

    Am I a happy man - this is sooooo cool.... a little bit of history

    :wink:

    Claus
     
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  2. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    That's great, I would be happy too if I them. I would love to see them.

    Jeff
     
  3. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Claus, what an interesting find. Tell me, do you collect the negatives as objets d'art themselves; or do you intend to print them somehow?

    Are they sturdy enough to withstand printing, scanning, or whatever you intend to do?

    As a side historical note, interesting to speculate what course the war might have taken had Hitler not helped FDR out of a bind by actually honoring his treaty with Japan by declaring war on the US....
     
  4. BlueLemon

    BlueLemon Member

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    These negatives are going to be made in 50x70 old printing paper with Liquid emulsion - only darkroom, and maybe a scan just to document on the net for you guys.

    These are just inverted in PS from a small file - just so you can get a glimpse of these :

    First the President :

    And then from Pearl Habour :

    And last two - actually two negatives of marines


    Nice
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2008
  5. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Claus;

    What a find. What good fortune. I feel a vicarious sense of accomplishment with you.

    At this time, I am in Hawaii. Yesterday, I was operating KH6BB from Radio Central, the radio room of the Battleship Missouri, BB63, in Pearl Harbor. The news of your find blends very appropriately with the sense of history that can be found in Pearl Harbor.
     
  6. BlueLemon

    BlueLemon Member

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    Hello Ralph,

    That must be awesome to be at that location - no matter what. I will post nice scans of my prints when i get the negatives. Hopefully they are intact when i receive them - they have already some cracks in the glass.

    Actually there was a fourth auction - which i sadly didn´t win, because this would have finished the circle of the story. A battleship exploding in Pearl Habour on the 7.th 1941..... but I did not get that negative, but have written the winning bidder to ask him to sell it to me. I believe he wants to scan his negative only, but as he bid on the 3 auctions that I won, we might help eachother out ;-)

    Claus
     
  7. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I wonder how they came to be piced up at an auction...they seem to be genuine historical articles, the sort you'd see in a museum. In any event, they're certainly part of national history, and a big part of the history of the 20th century!

    I think I'd like to go to some of the same auction circles you move in!
     
  8. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Are you sure these are originals? The FDR shot and the third shot with the marines appear to be copy shots. The FDR image has newspaper crop marks on the margins.

    The glass negatives are a bit fishy, too. Most photographers had abandoned glass negatives by the end of WWI. WWII negatives would most likely have been nitrate-based. Maybe some old guy in a studio copied some images on glass at one point.

    I hate to rain on your parade, but I work with historic photo collections, and something is not right here. I hope you did not pay for one thing and received another.

    Peter Gomena
     
  9. BlueLemon

    BlueLemon Member

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    Well the seller states that he is 99,9 % sure that these are not replicas

    But hey - I have been fooled before ;-)
     
  10. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Well, the seller may have been fooled as well. All of the images show paper margins around the edges of the images. The shots of the marines shows two complete and two partial images on the same frame, all on a background of some kind.

    The newspaper crop marks are a dead giveaway, and unless that image of FDR is on a badly cracked glass negative, the cracks are pretty suspect. Looks like it was copied through a cracked frame glass. Even the photo of the sunk ship has a margin on the bottom. They're all most likely copy shots.

    Peter Gomena
     
  11. BlueLemon

    BlueLemon Member

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    Well I will contact the seller - he assurred me that these were originals with 99,9 % percent certainty - delivered by the US government for the newspapers to use back then in 1941

    Well these informations are certainly a wee bit overstated - and I will claim a full refund.

    Thanks Peter.

    :-( What a scam)
     
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  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Those are good points. It is also possible the original images have a copyright. Or perhaps they are from the National Archives. I bet the researchers at the National Archives would know if they have the original. http://www.archives.gov/research/ww2/photos/

    Here are two related images I found. One is from Library of Congress and the other is in the National Archives. Anyone can request copies from the National Archives, though these days you probably just get an inkjet print. http://www.archives.gov/research/order/still-pictures.html


    [​IMG]
     
  13. BlueLemon

    BlueLemon Member

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    Well that pretty much sums it up

    I have asked seller for full refund, since this is copyrighted material not to be sold by him.

    Thanks guys..... happiness is shortlived in this world ;-)
     
  14. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    These images are likely public domain.
     
  15. BlueLemon

    BlueLemon Member

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    // Jbrunner - Maybe, but the picture of FDR looks very similar to the one IC-Racer posted from the Library of congress - just another angle. But maybe same photographer.

    However these are stated to be copywork, which I initially did not see - and I was just fooled by the article and description on Ebay.

    I just don´t want it now

    Claus
     
  16. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you ever have the time or inclination... the FDR library in Hyde Park, NY is a great resource for images of FDR, most of which are now in the public domain, and easy to obtain copy prints from. I've done photo research there, and it's a lot of fun to go through their files. Anyone interested in the history of FDR's presidency would be well served by a visit there. You may need a "reason" to get access to the files... I was working for a well known news magazine at the time, but I think just about any freelance researcher can get access, provided you give some indication of their purpose.

    In other words, they can't be licensed for commercial purposes, but I think any history buff can acquire prints. Seeing original negatives... that's a different story, and I'd bet a lot of the negatives from that time are pretty delicate.

    One interesting note... only two photographs exist of FDR shown in his wheelchair. One can be found on his Wiki page, and there is another where he is talking with a group of people, and you only see him from the back, IIRC.

    His wiki page has one of those wheelchair pix, though cropped to a square from a vertical with a bit more breathing room.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Cottage

    All that said, I would be very suspicious of anyone offering "original negs" of FDR since the copy prints are so easily obtained.
     
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  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Whoa, are you effing kidding me? Negs like that can just be bought???! :surprised:

    Well, congrats on purchasing a piece of history. Pretty amazing.

    P.S. Oh okay I just read the rest of the thread, sorry....
     
  18. seawolf66

    seawolf66 Member

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    Fools rush in, where angles dare not go ! Sorry to hear you got yourself burnt :
     
  19. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    These may in fact have been copy negatives made by the government for reprinting copies for wide distribution. If it was to be a nationwide release, having more than a single negative from which to make hundreds of prints would make sense. These may indeed be original copy negatives, but not original negatives.

    I hope you get a full refund.

    Peter Gomena
     
  20. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    Definitely, military photographers were not shooting with 5x7 view cameras on tripods using glass negs by WWII, especially in combat zones. And even the shot of Roosevelt signing the declaration of war was likely done with a 4x5 press camera, not a 5x7. These are surely copies as others have rightly pointed out. :sad: