PDA

View Full Version : Wirephotos


Archive
05-11-2007, 11:38 AM
Posted By: <b>Dylan</b><p>I have the chance to pick up several wire photos, some of which are of HOF players from prewar era. I am unexperienced with these and have dont have a good idea how to assess value. Are there any general guidelines? Thanks

Archive
05-11-2007, 12:51 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>There are just too many variables, but generally first generation photos are more valuable than ones printed later; and the aesthetic qualities of the image are important too. That is subjective, but a player in uniform is worth more than one in street clothes, a crystal clear image of the player is better than one shot from a distance, etc. However, collectors vary in opinion about what style of images they like best.<br /><br />Just try to make sure it is original.

Archive
05-11-2007, 02:19 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>Wow....I could write a 50 page book on this subject. First off is it a newsphoto or a Wire photo? The term wire photo is one of the most misused terms in photo collecting. Wire photo has come to encompass pretty much any photo taken pre war. Which is not the case. For the most part news photos were the type used before about 1935. Wire photos came after 35. To sum it up, All wire photos are also news photos, and all news photos are not wire photos. Got that? First off what year does it say on the back ? Most wire photos originally had a piece of paper attached to the back, called a slug, denoting what the photo entails. Wire photos typically do not have that. But to go into that would be time consuming. Wirephtos have a date stamped on the back, newsphoto originals do not. Scan them and lets see what you have. Hope this helps. Like I say this can be a complicated part of the hobby.

Archive
05-11-2007, 02:28 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Mike- the little paper glued to the back is the wire- it looks a little like a Western Union telegram. Isn't that the "wire" in wire photo?

Archive
05-11-2007, 02:34 PM
Posted By: <b>Jimmy Piccuito</b><p>I would buy the Smithsonian Baseball Book by Stephen Wong - great book with lots of info. The internet and other books have some great resources as well - just do some searching. PSA gave the book out with memberships this past year!<br /><br />Take Care<br /><br />Jimmy

Archive
05-11-2007, 02:51 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Smithsonian book is great- and I am proud to say I have an article in it (page 16) <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>

Archive
05-11-2007, 02:58 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>There are a lot of a factors, but a simple thing to look for to make sure they are vintage are the stamps on back. If they're from companies like ACME, Pacific & Atlantic, Underwood and others you can safetly assume they are vintage, as those are old companies. The cycleback.com book listed in the other thread includes a guide to wirephotos/news service photos including a fairly lengthy listing of stamps and when they appeared.<br /><br />Quality of image and, of course, player are important. Babe Ruth is more valuable than Heinie Manush and Ty Cobb is more valuable than Hugh Jennings.

Archive
05-11-2007, 02:58 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>The term "wire photo" applies to the method by which the actual photo was sent from one location to another. (after about 1935) "Over the Wire". Like a telegram of sorts. Before that technology came about, all photos were made one at at a time, and copies could be made from the negative. The piece of paper applied to the back of most wire photos was "not" the wire. The piece of paper was simply attached later after the photo was developed, and was used to explain the nature and contents of the photo. When wire technology came about, the explainations of the contents became part of the actual photo, and normally appeared on the front and was typed text, usually at the bottom of the photo. Again, the term wire photo was the actual process used in sending the photo, and receiving it over the so called wire. The term wire phot has nothing to do with the little piece of attached paper. That piece of paper is called a "slug"<br /><br /><br />Edited to add that the best book by far, to help folks learn about photos is "A portrait of baseball photography". By Marshall Fogel, and Henry Yee, and Khyber Oser.

Archive
05-11-2007, 03:04 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Mike is correct. There is no such thing as a 1919 wirephoto, as the wirephoto process had yet to be invented.<br /><br />However, 'wirephoto' also is a general nickname that many collectors and dealers use to call any photos made by Associated Press, UPI, etc, including real wirephotos and that 1919 AP photo. <br /><br />The general rule is that any photo before 1935 isn't a wirephoto, as wirephotos weren't widely made until 1935. The majority of pre-1935 baseball photos made by news services like UP, ACME, etc, are originals printed from the original negative.

Archive
05-11-2007, 03:17 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>To try and clarify, most photos taken before 1935 are not wire photos, they are called news photos, and have the atached paper called a slug. Most photos taken after '35 are called wire photos and do not have the attached piece of paper called a slug. The slug was no longer necessary, as the phtos contents normally became part of the "Wire" process on the front of the photo. But yes as stated by David, the "Nickname" wirephoto has come mean all pre war photos, which they are not. Clear as mud?

Archive
05-11-2007, 03:24 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>As Mike noted, it can be complicated. However, if a photo has the stamp or tag from a company like ACME you know the photo is old. And, if you know a photo is vintage, that's half the battle price-wise. As long you know it's not a modern reprint and the image is sharp, you don't have to lose sleep over the other details.

Archive
05-11-2007, 03:24 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>If the slug is missing from a newsphoto does it lessen the value?

Archive
05-11-2007, 03:29 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>Yes it lessens the value. Quite a bit. As this would in most cases, cause the original date to be lost, and the contents to be lost. An example being, " a celebration of some sort". A slug normally gives all names in the photo, including obscure players, or friends or family members of the player, or management. Without the slug, information can be lost forever. But as many have stated, collecting original photos can get very complicated. Get marshall Fogels book. It is awesome.

Archive
05-11-2007, 03:32 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>If the photo can be dated and identified as original/vintage (ala has proper stamp), I don't believe a missing paper tag lowers the value. The tags were sometimes taken off by the printers and editors or otherwise could innocently fall off, so a missing tag shouldn't cause lost sleep unless it is needed to authenticate the photo.<br /><br />However, the captions on the tags are often important for saying who's who and what's what in the image. I had a lot of football photos, and I wouldn't have who were 70 percent of players if it didn't have captions. Also, I would know a scene was from the 1956 Sugar Bowl without the caption or that pic was from Jim Brown's last game .... A lot of these caption details raise value, as a scene known to be from the Sugar Bowl will be more that a scene from the 3rd regular season game, and a pic from from Brown's last game is worth more than a pic from the 3rd from last game.

Archive
05-11-2007, 03:52 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>But without the attached "slug" many photos may show babe Ruth for example, but what is he doing? What game is it? Who is he with ? What date was it? is it his first wife or his second ? What hit or home run was it? Was it something important? called shot ? Or just a long meaningless homerun? So I guess I disagree somewhat, in that it does lower the value. maybe I was a little over zealous when I said it lowers it a lot, but yes, it certainly does lower it. I have been collecting Foxx, gehrig, and Ruth newsphotos (NOT WIRE PHOTOS) as there wasn't such a thing back then. I have about 70 of them. So to me, yes it does lower the value. And one more thing, without the slug, it makes it harder to know whether it is a copy or an original. With the attached slug, it is almost always an original.

Archive
05-11-2007, 04:01 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Mike, I agree in that the details from the caption can add value. If it's a face shot of Babe Ruth, one doesn't need a caption to know it's Babe Ruth. On the other hand, if it's the 1942 Army football team portrait, it's beneficial to know the players' name and that the photo was shot before the the big Army Navy game.<br /><br />So a tag isn't always needed to authenticate a photo, but can add details that will raise the sales price-- especially, when the owner and buyer would know little about the image without the caption.

Archive
05-11-2007, 04:20 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>yes, if it is a faceshot of Ruth, then yes, an explanation isn't as important. But what was the occasion? What was the date ? Is the photo original ? Along with Old cardboard, I collect originals of Foxx and Ruth and gehrig. Some of my favorite originals are from the 1934 tour of japan. In many cases there are large group shots. Without the slug attached, many people would remain a mystery for ever.. From an odd angle, maybe Moe Berg looks like Charlie Gehringer, all i am saying, is that with the attachment, it clarifys everything. And to me, Iam willing to pay more, if the newsphoto attachment is there. AGAIN&lt; there are no attachments for wire photos. (That is for anyone who wasn't paying attention to earlier comments)

Archive
05-11-2007, 05:28 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>I have two photos that I'm pretty sure were professionally taken newsphotos, but they have no explanation as to what was going on....with some research you can uncover what is going on in a photo and a date.<br /><br />I have yet to figure out what the exact date of these photos, but it probably wouldn't be too hard to get that since I have figured the year to be 1926 by the uniforms.<br /><br />This website is invaluable to people like me who try and date photos by uniform styles<br /><a href="http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/exhibits/online_exhibits/dressed_to_the_nines/" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/exhibits/online_exhibits/dressed_to_the_nines/</a><br /><br />The guys shaking hands are the managers - when I first bought the photos they were sold to me as New York Giants v Boston Braves photos, but I quickly determined the ballpark was Fenway so this was a possibility as the Braves did on occasion play at Fenway...the more I looked at the photos I believed the managers to be Dave Bancroft and Bill Carrigan, but uniform styles didn't match for any time period when both were managing - a little more research led me to 1926 when Lee Fohl was the Red Sox manager. So just by some research which is most of the fun of collecting these photos for me I determined the date, and the subjects of the photos. The game is obviously an exhibition game between the two Boston clubs in 1926....I'm sure a newspaper search would reveal the exact date, but I haven't done that yet. <br /><br /> <img src="http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Vintage%20Baseball%20Snapshots/bancroft-carriganSmall.jpg"><br /><br /> <img src="http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Vintage%20Baseball%20Snapshots/fenwaySmall.jpg">

Archive
05-11-2007, 06:58 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>Let's see what on the back of them...Curious

Archive
05-11-2007, 07:04 PM
Posted By: <b>scgaynor</b><p>A general rule of thumb is that a photo of a player who is not in uniform (NIU) is generally worth no more than 50% (often only 20-30%) of one where he is in uniform. There are, of course, expections.<br /><br />The missing "slug" is not that big of a deal most of the time. It might make the photo worth 10-20& less, but often does not really effect the value at all. The image is the key, it is one of the reasons that most news service photographs are tough to value. Unlike a baseball card, each is different in some way.<br /><br />Scott<br /><br />

Archive
05-11-2007, 08:13 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>Mike, there is nothing written or stamped on the back of them.

Archive
05-11-2007, 09:20 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p> Although it is true that the image is key. But a greater factor is, is it an original photo. A copy or reprint with a "great image" has very little value. Copys and reprints also can have great images. Hence the importance of a slug, or some provenance.

Archive
05-11-2007, 09:53 PM
Posted By: <b>scgaynor</b><p>I agree, the slug is nice, and it is better to have one than not have one, but you don't really need it to tell if the print is vintage and 1st generation. I see news service photos all of the time that have "slugs" that were printed 20-30 years after the fact. Don't rely on the slugs to tell you if the piece is vintage. The best way to tell is by simply holding it, feeling it and looking at it. <br /><br />Scott

Archive
05-11-2007, 09:59 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>The two photos I have above are definitely first generation...with no slugs. I bought them from a board member who is as much an expert in photographs as anyone on this board.

Archive
05-11-2007, 10:05 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Off hand, Dan's photos look original, and the guy top photo right looks like Bancroft.

Archive
05-11-2007, 10:30 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>The slug is only one of many ways to determine if it is authentic, and vintage. But for the purpose of this thread, and to all beginners and non experts, it is a good thing to learn about, and to look for, a decent way for beginners to begin, to delve into vintage photography. For an expert such as myself, and others, yes touch and feel is also a good indicator, but for beginners, touchy feely is a dangerous way to try and determine authenticity. Their inexperience may come back to haunt them. But yes, feel and clarity, and all the rest come into play. I agree.

Archive
05-11-2007, 10:40 PM
Posted By: <b>scgaynor</b><p>Mike, I agree.<br /><br />Scott

Archive
05-12-2007, 01:28 AM
Posted By: <b>Dylan</b><p>I dont own a lot of photos but here's one I own... its HOF'er Harry Heilmann in an undated photo. On the back in pencil it says the following, along with a stamp that is so faded i can only make out a couple words:<br />685353<br />Harry Heilmann, Detroit 1943<br />19 picas x approximatly 10''<br />3A<br />106%<br />If you closely the stamp is shown underneath "19 picas x approximatly 10'' which was circled. The top of the stamp i can make out the word photo and then there's a paragraph thats too faded too read, towards the bottom i can read United ??? National Inc. followed by a NY address. What kind of photo is this?<br /><br /><img src="http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w161/TypeSetCollector/100_2280.jpg"><br /><img src="http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w161/TypeSetCollector/100_2281.jpg">

Archive
05-12-2007, 08:17 AM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>Hard to say Dylan. From your scan, it's not possible to determine too much. It would have to be personnaly looked at by someone who knows photography. As far as the 106%, that would lead me to believe it was blown up from an original, making it a bit larger than the original by 6%. For what reason who knows. So it is probably a copy, and not an original. But let someone handle it look at it in person.

Archive
05-12-2007, 10:06 AM
Posted By: <b>Rob Dewolf</b><p>I've worked in Sports departments at newspapers as a writer and copy editor since the days when we actually would walk to a room where where old photos were stored and physcially pull the ones we wanted to use in the next day's paper (as opposed to now, when we typically pull them electronically from a data base). <br /><br />My guess is that the "106%" marking refers to when the size of the photo was enlarged by that percent for use in the paper (as opposed to your photo having been enlarged to 106 percent). Ditto with the references to picas; at some point someone wanted the photo -- or some part of it that was cropped -- to run in the paper 19x10 picas in size.<br /><br />I've seen 80-year-old photos that have been reused multiple times in print with 10 different sizes and dates written on the back. Typically an editor or layout person would get the photo from a file, write on the back what size he needed it for the next day's paper (and if needed use a grease pencil to crop what part of the photo he wanted printed in the paper) and then drop it off to the photo department. When the photo department was done, the photo would be returned to its file (in a perfect world, at least). The photo could then be used again in the same way.<br /><br />So on photos that orginally were used by a newspaper, I'd urge caution in relying on markings regarding size and date on the reverse to determine too much; often these writings had more to do with the photo's use in print rather than the photo itself.<br /><br />Hope this helps.<br /><br />Rob <br /><br />

Archive
05-12-2007, 10:16 AM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>Good advice Rob. When I previously mentioned the 106%, what you said, is what i meant to say. I just worded it very clumsily. If there is such a word as clumsily. But yes, you are right. Suffice it to say, that collecting old photos takes years of experience, similar to old cardboard, or any other hobby for that matter. Even old card experts keep learning each and every day. As do I with old photos. Thanks for the clarification Rob<br /><br />Edited to add that collecting old photos is a fascinating hobby. I got into it about 10 years ago. In my opinion old original photos are very undervalued. Looking at an original photo of Ruth for instance, is like stepping back in time. I find that very cool. And to have an original that no one else has, is as fun for me, as it is to own a card that no one else has. And you can frame them in UV glass, and hand them in your office. I've got about 70 originals of Ruth, gehrig and Foxx. But my walls are covered, and i have no more room to hang anything. But I keep buying. I am an incurable addict. Please help me !!!!

Archive
05-12-2007, 01:53 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Dylan, your photo looks like a second generation photo used by the press-- newspaper, magazine, other. It likely was supplied by a news service. <br /><br />A news paper, say the Chicago Tribune, would own photos from many sources, including ACME and AP, but also photos shot by their own photographers and freelancers. The photos would include originals, wirephotos and second generation images-- all of them could potentially be used to make pictures for the newspaper.<br /><br />If a photo has sizing text on back, that often to usually means it was used to make a picture in the publication.<br /><br />A collector doesn't have to give a formal name to a photo (press photo? news photo? news service photo? newspaper photo?). You can simply call it a photograph then give some detail about it-- "For sale a photograph that appears to have come from a newspaper or magazine". In cases, a collector won't know exactly where a photo came from or how it was used, and will have to give an educated opinion. Obviously original V reprint and new V modern are important distinctions, but a collector doesn't have to break into cold sweats for fear they use the wrong formal name for a photo. If someone wanted to call Dylan's photo a news photo or press photo or news service photo or photo for a publication, those are all fine enough names to me.<br /><br />I personally categorize all of these types of photos as 'press and publishing photos,' which means all photos made by or for the press and publishing (newspapers, magazines, books, etc). This will include originals by famous magazine photographers, wirephotos and later generations from the archives of a small time newspaper.

Archive
05-12-2007, 03:08 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>In trying to keep this thread somewhat educational, I tryed to explain the differences in photo types. I nor anyone else is going to break out in a cold sweat. In my world, there are differences in photo types, and photo processes. In lumping all photos into the same category, to me is no different than saying there is no difference in T cards. 206's, 204's 207's, no difference, they are just all T cards. There are differences in photos as there is in cards. And in no way am I trying to be difficult. Just informative. <br /><br />In spending large sums of money on photos, at least to me, it is very important to be able to distinguish between a copy, a reprint, a news photo, and a wire photo.

Archive
05-12-2007, 08:01 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>As a collector, I prefer vintage originals and that's generally what I stick to. I have a few examples where the famous photographer printed it later, but prefer vintage. Wirephotos are collectible as vintage historical artifacts, but aren't what I collect as the images are second generation. Not saying what's right or wrong, just what I prefer. And, for every collecting rule there are exceptions, as I might come across a wirephoto that catches my fancy. <br /><br />For photos that have great crystal clear images, are vintage and original, you never regret owning those.<br /><br />I think a good place for the prospective collector to start are George Burke photos, as he was a famous photographer, he photographed loads of players, his images are of consistent high quality (clear, rich tones, etc) and he stamped his name & Belmont Ave Chicago address on the backs for easy identification. A photo with his stamp address is vintage. Also, they're plentiful enough that a collector will find them and won't have to pay an arm and a leg.

Archive
05-13-2007, 12:52 AM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>I try and avoid wire photos as well. They were typically wired to many different locations, making many many copies. There really isn't such a thing as a wire photo original. I prefer original news photos. Which "usually" are one of a kind. Sometimes they made a second copy. Forsomeone like Ruth, they have made a few more. I just recently picked up a Burke Jimmie Foxx. Very nice. And affordable. Got it from a forum contributor.

Archive
05-13-2007, 03:39 AM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>I collect strictly fashion photographs, almost all originals made for magazines. In nature, the old ones are not unlike baseball photos, except different subject and publications. Vogue instead of Baseball Magazine. Interestingly, one of my favorite vintage Vogue photographers, Toni Frissell, was also on the staff of Sports Illustrated. I believe she's the only person ever to shoot covers for both magazines.<br /><br />Below is a typical Frissell image (famous 1942 WWII poster). <br /><br /><img src="http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/wcf/images/wcf073.jpg">

Archive
05-13-2007, 09:24 AM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>Photo collectors tend to prefer players in their uniforms. They also bring higher prices.. For obvious reasons. One area that I have gotten into is family photos, casual photos etc. For instance someone is at restraunt or bar, and bump into Jimmie Foxx and family. The Foxx family is kind enough to let the stranger take their picture. The stranger then goes home, gets the photo developed. And has a keepsake. That is until 70 years later, when the surviving relatives come across it, and start to see dollar signs. I have been able to come across the most interesting photos (originals) of Foxx and his kids, sitting around the Christmas tree, Jimmie Bowling, lifting weights, hunting, fishing, having a few cocktails, doing broadcasting for CBS radio after his retirement, golfing with babe, dancing with "woman". I find casual shots fascinating. It is a peek into someones life. We all know what Jimmie looked like, while he was playing first, but it is fun to see him relaxing with Lefty, and friends. Someone took a picture of him striking out while playing a game in the Phillipines. These are all original photos, not wire, or news photos. Such as some pictures I took of Puckett at an autograph signing, while with my son. Not worth much, but a great keep sake. I love the one of a kind fun, casual shots. It is amazing what shows up on E bay. Keep 'em coming folks !! I have about 70 of them as of right now. I also have a lot of originals purchased from Gaynor, Yee, etc. etc. They are great hanging on the wall.

Archive
05-13-2007, 12:33 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>Mike, those types of "snapshots" are my favorite photos as well....I have tons of them and am always looking for more. You can see many of my photos at the following links.<br /><br /><a href="http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Vintage%20Baseball%20Snapshots/" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Vintage%20Baseball%20Snapshots/</a><br /><a href="http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/1937-41%20Brooklyn%20Dodgers%20Spring%20Photos/" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/1937-41%20Brooklyn%20Dodgers%20Spring%20Photos/</a><br /><a href="http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/1939%20Texas%20League%20Snapshots/" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/1939%20Texas%20League%20Snapshots/</a><br /><br />And all my Lincoln Athletics snapshots can be seen here<br /><br /><a href="http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Lincoln%20Minor%20League/" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Lincoln%20Minor%20League/</a><br /><br />Jimmie Foxx with Pat the dog <br /><img src="http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Vintage%20Baseball%20Snapshots/JimmieFoxxandPat.jpg"><br /><br />Germany Schaefer c1906 having some fun in New Orleans <br /><img src="http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Vintage%20Baseball%20Snapshots/germanySmall.jpg">

Archive
05-13-2007, 02:42 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>Love the dog shot....which company took that photo ? Is there a date anywhere on the back ?<br /><br />I wish I had the time, and the where with all to load all my photos. I am some what computer illiterate. At the office I used to have people come running into my office any time I had computer issues. So I learned nothing about them. What is that saying about "Teach a man to fish...." I came across a great news photo of Jimmie Foxx and Babe Didrickson. Some how I will have to figure out how to get it on here. It is great.

Archive
05-13-2007, 03:08 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>The shot of Foxx and the dog is a personal snapshot taken by a young girl whose father was associated with the team in some way in 1936. I have all her photos from her scrapbook from that spring training trip.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.network54.com/Forum/153652/message/1176053946/Spring+Training+-+1936" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://www.network54.com/Forum/153652/message/1176053946/Spring+Training+-+1936</a>