THE FIRST PRINT - SIGNED
Raising the Flag in Iwo Jima. Vintage silver print
3-3/8 inches x 4-1/2 inches. Signed in pencil on the verso, and annotated "1st print G.T." - the initials of the technician who likely first printed the film.
The most celebrated World War II photograph, "Raising the Flag in Iwo Jima". This print is claimed by the technician who printed it to be the very first print of this image, printed on shipboard in Guam. Item #32806
Following the flag-raising, Rosenthal sent his film to Guam to be developed and printed. George Tjaden of Hendricks, Minnesota, was likely the technician who printed it, according to a 2005 interview he gave to journalist Steve Hemmingsen. Upon seeing the photo, Associated Press (AP) photograph editor John Bodkin exclaimed "Here's one for all time!" and immediately transmitted the image to the AP headquarters in New York City at 7:00 am, Eastern War Time. The photograph was quickly picked up off the wire by hundreds of newspapers. It "was distributed by Associated Press within seventeen and one-half hours after Rosenthal shot it—an astonishingly fast turnaround time in those days." This example, printed on Guam, was signed by Rosenthal for Laurence Bershad, who served as a radar officer on the U.S.S. New Jersey during World War II, and was later in charge of photography for the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests. Bershad's collection of historic World War II photographs (including another example of this image) is now at the Hoover Institute.