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May 06

Morro Bay Power Plant smokestack

THE STACK IS HIGH…This dramatic photo of a rigger, Arval Ady, dangling 15 feet below the top of PG&E's 450-foot smokestack was taken last March by Telegram-Tribune photographer Fen Truebridge who had just previously been hoisted up through the giant chimney's brick-lined interior. The power plant building is shown at the top left. This picture was distributed nationally.©The Tribune

TOWERING FUNNEL…Lined with thousands of acid-resistant bricks, the Morro Bay plant's 450-foot smokestack gave an eerie feeling to persons visiting its interior and gazing towards the small circle of light at its top. Descending on a thin cable, while standing on a block of concrete, the stack's construction foreman comes down to pick up Telegram-Tribune photographer Fen Truebridge. Minutes later the two men rode the cable to the top. This picture was taken in March 1955. (Telegram-Tribune photo)

Fen Truebridge, wherever you are, amazing photos. Not many people have been inside or at the top of the 450 tall smokestacks in Morro Bay. As I understand it the first full time photographer came to the Tribune in 1963. Fen Truebridge appears in a staff photo as one a of five man (all male) editorial staff. He is seated at a typewriter at a horseshoe shaped table that surrounded managing editor Elliot Curry. The occasion is the dedication of the new Telegram-Tribune office on Johnson Ave. Add in the sports editor, managing editor and executive editor and that leaves two fingers left over to count editorial employees. I don't have any information on Truebridge, when he worked here, what equipment was being used at the time. The prints are very sharp and grain free which leads me to think large format photography. When I started at the paper there were still developing tanks and frames for 4 x 5 negatives.

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