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1918: Celebrations on Wall Street, New York following the surrender of Germany
1918: Celebrations on Wall Street, New York following the surrender of Germany

1918: Celebrations on Wall Street, New York following the surrender of Germany

Regular price £100

1918: Celebrations on Wall Street, New York following the surrender of Germany

(W.L. Drummond / Library of Congress)

This picture is almost what it seems - but not quite.  We know the exact moment this picture was taken, 1:52 PM on Thursday November 7th, 1918 - four days before the end of World War One.

The premature report of the end of the Great War originated in a casual lunchtime conversation between Admiral Henry Wilson, commander of the American Naval forces in French waters, and Roy Howard, President of United Press. Wilson passed on a report of a telephone call he had received from a friend employed in the American Embassy declaring an armistice had been signed.

Howard, believing he had just been handed the greatest news story of the his career years, circumnavigated the various systems of checks and censorship in place, going so far as to forge the signature of his foreign editor. He transmitted the story to New York unscrutinised, giving the time of cessation of hostilities as 2pm - eight minutes after this picture was taken.

Traders on Wall Street were the first to be aware of the news, and trading ended at 1pm. As the news spread, the entire city was caught up in the celebrations.

The next day, the New York Times described the United Press transmission as "the most flagrant and culpable act of public deception".

The Armistice treaty signed at the end of World War One by the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, went into effect on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour, 1918. Yet close to 3,000 men lost their lives on the final day of the War, as, despite the announcement of the Armistice, fighting did not actually cease until that specific moment.

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Specifications:

  • Limited edition print run of 100 pieces

  • Supplied with Paper Time Machine certificate of authenticity to provide limited edition provenance

  • Hand printed in the UK, global shipping available

  • Dimensions: 30 x 40cm including border for easy framing

  • Presented on premium Fuji photographic paper

  • C-type Fuji Crystal archive paper with a semi-matt finish. The paper is coated with a slightly stippled texture giving a very natural photographic finish with subtle colour