Near-Instant Transmission of Presidential Inauguration Photographs

January 20, 1989

The inauguration of President George H.W. Bush marks a historic leap in photojournalism. Just forty seconds after the forty-first president was sworn in, Associated Press photographer Ronald A. Edmonds sent photographs of President Bush taking the oath of office over the wire. The implications for the future of photojournalism were enormous. If a photographer had access to a telephone line or satellite link, then his or her picture could reach their publication in a matter of seconds. The dissemination of photographs became faster, allowing for easier access to visual information. Increased and quicker coverage of war became theoretically possible when Edmonds relayed a photograph in record time (Pritchard 2014).


Pritchard, Michael. A History of Photography in 50 Cameras. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014.