Montrose-Austin at Night (1960)

When I was a kid one of my hobbies was photography. I never learned many technical skills, nor tried to develop film, nor bought fancy equipment. I just liked to take pictures.

In the summer of 1960 I was going into eighth grade, and figured out how to do night photos.  My camera was a cheap Brownie, which meant I had to manually hold the lens open for a few seconds, until I gathered enough light on that low-grade roll film.  And of course, since I didn’t have a light meter and was just experimenting with different exposures, I wasn’t sure whether any of the photos would turn out.

Montrose @ Austin (1960)

Eventually I got the prints back from Skrudland’s.  Most of them weren’t very good.  I gave up taking long-exposure photos until I was an adult, and could afford a 35-mm camera.

A few months ago I rediscovered those 55-year old photos.  As a matter of historical interest, I’m sharing two of them here.

The first photo is Montrose Avenue at Austin, looking east.  Note the low illumination provided by the street lamps of that time, just before they were replaced by the more modern Mercury Vapor lights.  Still, the photo manages to capture the trolley bus wires over Montrose.  And check out the price of gas at the Mobil station.

60 (7-7)--JRS self-portrait

The second photo is me. Though we didn’t use the name yet, we can call this my first selfie.

—30—

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5 Responses to “Montrose-Austin at Night (1960)”


  1. 1 Ralph May 15, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Didn’t this intersection have gas stations on all four corners?

  2. 3 Sue N. May 17, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Are you going to print more of your night pictures?

  3. 5 benson May 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Not sure what years you taught at Howe, and I know it’s not really of general interest, but I sure would love to see photos from J. W. Howe School. I’m guessing you were there way after I was. (graduated 8th grade in ’71)


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