How to Transmit News Photos by Wire—in 1937

Telephotography was a thrilling new technology in the 1930s, allowing newspapers to send images across the country at lightning speed. Photographs were scanned from a rotating cylinder and transmitted electronically via telephone lines. Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, this informative film was produced by Chevrolet, and shamelessly includes a highly entertaining stunt in which a small airplane takes off from the roof of a car. The event, of course, is the subject of the news photograph that must be rushed to the paper via wire. 

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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