An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill on 7 December 1941 outside 10 Downing Street holding a newspaper with a headline announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill on 7 December 1941 outside 10 Downing Street holding a newspaper with a headline announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill on 7 December 1941 outside 10 Downing Street holding a newspaper with a headline announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

London: The Topical Press Agency, 9 December 1941. Photograph. This original press photograph captures Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill on 7 December 1941, the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, outside 10 Downing Street holding a newspaper with a headline announcing the attack. The gelatin silver print on matte photo paper measures 8 x 6 in (20.3 x 15.2 cm). Condition is very good. The paper is crisp, clean, and free of scratches with only very minor edge wear, slightly bumped corners, and a very small loss to the upper right corner, all of which are confined to the margins. This press photo was once a part of the working archives of The Daily Telegraph and features their Art Department’s hand-applied retouching and airbrushing to Churchill’s clothes. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “The ‘Topical’ Press Agency”, a published stamp of The Daily Telegraph dated 8 DEC 1941, handwritten printing notations, and a clipping of the caption as it was published reading, “THE PRIME MINISTER photographed outside No. 10 Downing-street, yesterday.” This photograph is housed in a removable, archival mylar sleeve within a rigid, crimson cloth folder. On 3 September 1939 Britain declared war on Germany, formally entering what would become a defining conflict not just for Britain, but for the world. For twenty-seven long, perilous months of official U.S. neutrality, the nation stood in solitary opposition to Nazi forces in the face of devastating bombardment and imminent invasion at home, and withering losses in the Far East. When Churchill became Prime Minister on 10 May 1940, the war for Britain was not so much a struggle for victory as a struggle to survive. While Churchill developed a strong relationship with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and secured quite considerable material U.S. aid, it was not until the attack on Pearl Harbor that the U.S. formally entered the war, ending Britain’s solitary stand. Upon hearing the news Churchill telephoned Roosevelt who told the Prime Minister “We are all in the same boat now”. In his war memoirs Churchill would later recall the relief he felt at the unfortunate news, “No American will think it wrong of me if I proclaim that to have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy… at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death… I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful.” (WSC, WWII Vol. III, p. 539-40) To cement the alliance Churchill had done so much to cultivate, Churchill immediately decided to travel to the United States, and on December 12, 1941 he boarded the battleship Duke of York and began the 10-day trip across the Atlantic - a perilous journey at a time when German U-Boats plagued the North Atlantic. Churchill spent a full month in North America, during which he addressed both the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament. During the first half of the twentieth century, photojournalism grew as a practice, fundamentally changing the way the public interacted with current events. Newspapers assembled expansive archives, with physical copies of all photographs published or deemed useful for potential future use, their versos typically marked with ink stamps and notes providing provenance and captions. Photo departments would often take brush, paint, pencil, and marker to the surface of photographs themselves to edit them before publication. Today these photographs exist as repositories of historical memory, technological artifacts, and often striking pieces of vernacular art. Item #005298

Price: $360.00

See all items in Photos