Sunday, 24 July 2011

Caspian Sea!

A trip to the Caspian sea. Date unknown. I do not remember whether I went on this trip when I was a student or teacher. I only remember that on several occasions I went with group of youngmen and women to the Capsian for a week long as part of various programmes. this photo was taken during one of those trips.

In the photo at the top, I am sitting in the middle with the big straw hat. In the phto below I am first from right.

A wedding, my friend's sister got married!

The wedding of Akhtar's younger sister Heshmat. The photo in the left: I am standing beside Akhtar, Simin who by then had turned into an elegant young woman is standing on the left of the bride. The photo on the right: young, teenage Manuchehr is in the background, eating something. I am standing beside the bride and there are others I don't remember their names.

Akhtar's younger sister, came to stay with her and study like Simin and Mannuchehr who lived with me. Akhtar had a number of older sisters who lived in Bam. They had lost their mother in young age. When I met Akhtar in mid-1950s she was already motherless. Their father was a very good man who took care of them all. As it seemed very normal in those days, as soon as Akhtar came to Tehran to study she took her sister with her. They never left Tehran.

For the history I must add a few lines here. In those days young men and women were sent to Tehran to study on their own. the families trusted their children. I knew a lot of girls who had rented rooms in the houses where other rooms were occupied by male students. There was a friendly and safe relationship among all and respect was the rule of land. Nosrat lived in such condition where we often went for a chat during lunch times, knowing that other male students lived in other rooms. No one bothered anyone. All seemed natural unlike these days that relations between men and women students is contantly curtailed in fear of immoral behaviour.

A wedding along other weddings!

Nosrat Razavi Wedding in September 1961 to one of mature students. Look at us! Don't we look cool!

On the top right hand photo, I am second from the left with Akhtar beside me and a woman who was a TV presenter beside her. Then we have the bride and groom.

During college years many men and women became close, fell in love, dated and ultimately got married. Some of the love affairs ended in break up and heart ache. Some marriages took place in haste in the last months before the end of term. Esmat married a man from outside her class, so did many others. By then I was preparing for a trip to the US.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Colleg years come to an end taking us into what made our dreams and our future.

Well, an era of my life came to a close with this photo which is the last of the series of my college years.

It is a very dear photo to me as it shows all I cared for in those years. And maybe for the first time after 50 years I can show you the the photo of the first and the last young man I fanicied seriously. Just fancied. Nothing came out of it. Just a youthful crash. Nothing less. He is the young man second from left on the third row ( will not reveal his name in case he might read this blog). I am sitting right behind the man with the tie and white shirt and I know I would never see my amorous again as a chapter of our lives was coming to a close and we went out separate ways. Akhtar is beside me talking to some one. A speck of moment registered in history and all gone and forgotten. Look at all these faces; beautiful, handsome, elegant, having no relevance with the ugliness through which Iranian students are portrayed these days. I wonder where all these young men and women of 1950s-60s Iran are and what did they do with their lives? Mine sailed through calm seas as well as very rough waves and high winds and thunder and also calm and sunny days. Flaoting, dreaming, soundless as a feather.

Last photos of college years.

These photos are almost the last taken by Mani, the photographer of us during the three years at the college. It was our enire class although I have forgotten most of thenames. The man with glasses was our American teacher, a young man called John (forgotten surname) who was part of the Peace Corpse serving in Iran. He was nice and gentle and asked me in the last weeks of the college if I fancy to go with him to the US!

It happened that I went to the US a few months later but surely not with him!

Here in these photos I am sitting in the front row wearing my famous fur coat which I had bought from doantown Tehran and which not only kept me very warm during Tehran's cold winters but made me the talk of college for wearing such elegant coat. It looked very expensive but only Fereshteh and I knew how little was paid for it!

Dr Hamidi Shirazi, our Persian teacher.

Photos taken in 1962.

Apart from English literature, we had to pass other modules as well. Persian literature was one of the many I remember was taught by the late Dr Hamidi Shirazi, a poet and author who was mostly famous for his love affair with a fellow student during his university years. He wrote numerous pieces in praise of his aomrous whom he never managed to marry. His love story was similar to that of Saidi Sirjani, another poet and writer (later killed in the prisons of the Islamic republic. Sirjani fell in love with a fellow student and was at some stage explelled from the university for his passion and the scandal it created). Both Dr Hamidi Shirazi and Saidi Sirjani became famous not primarily for their valuable literary work but their scandolous love affair.

However, in the first photo and indeed the res,t Dr Hamidi Shirazi is standing in the middle in the dark suit. I am second from right in two photos but absent from the third (the left one). According to my friends, I looked very elegant in the silk grey dress and the hair style which I had adopted in those days.

Valleys carved inside the Alborz mountain range; a place for us to explore and expand!

Here are two photos of different times on a tour of the mountains of north Tehran. The first was taken in the early June 1962 shortly before the college finished and we graduated. In the back, the word Darakeh reminds us of the place we posed for the shot. Darakeh was in those days a valley which started from a point where the notorious evin prison was later built. Darakeh stretched deep into the heart of the Alborz mountains range which skirt the nothern part of Tehran. The uppoer you went the deeper and fresher the air and the more beautiful the scenery became. But of course I am talking about a long gone era. Nowadays, as I have heard, Darken valley had fallen into the hands of developerwho had built high rises and buried the beauty once it was famous for.

The second photo in the bottom was taken in February 1961 in a different location; Shahabad. This again was another opening to the heart of the Alborz mountain ranges from northern Tehran. The valley which began from Shahabad would have its turn and twist and waterfalls and cafes on the way to the peak. On both these photos we were accampanied by Dr Pasargadi who loved to stay close to his students through outdoor activities.

Picnics in Darakeh with Dr Pasargadi, our teacher, 1961

In the second and third year of college we used to go on picnics on the mountains and valleys of northern Tehran with Dr Pasargadi as our guide and teacher. Pasargadi was funny, sporty and we all loved to sit in his classes. On these days I often took Simin and Manuchehr with me.

They were teenagers in high school years and my friends in the college, especially the ones from Kerman province met them often especially when after the end of year we all travelled back to Kerman by bus to spend the summer with our families.

The photo on the top alongside the falls shows Dr Pasargadi in a relaxed pose with Manuchehr in front of him. I am sitting on the left of the falls with Rafat Hassanpour and another girl.

The photo on the right of the second row, shows Manuchehr sitting beside me on the left and Simin standing.

These photos were taken by Mani on a day or days we went to Darakeh valleys, climbed the mountains and passed the falls and had a wonderful picnic.

A day trip to the Faculty of Agriculture in Karaj.

We are eating at the faculty's canteen, a lucnh much remembered!

A day trip to the Faculty of Agriculture in Karaj, a town outside western Tehran. Students from various departments came to this expedition. Photos show all of us in various places of the faculty. On the photo in the left above the stuffed animal, Akhtar (left), Nosrat and I pose for Mani photographer. The photo on the right we are joined by other female students from the group. The rest of the photos show all of us in various parts of the faculty and at the canteen. There is not date on the photo but I assume it was in our second year, 1961.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Friendship blossoms.

Esmat and I in a rare scene. she decided to take off her scarf forn this photo. Why I dont remember.

We were part of history, yes we were.

Now, these two photos of me were taken in different seasons. The one with the fur coat was taken in the winter 1962, our final year. I have other phtos with this coat which I loved and I remember I loved my check skirt as well.

Comparing this to the outfit of students in Iran now, one would think what a world! How can a country change this to that we witness today? Were these photos made up in our minds or taken in another planet another faraway country? No, my friends, this was Iran. We were there. We existed although a lot of effort goes into our inahilation and extinction. We will not let to be erased from history as we were there and these photos of us, individual are published publicly for one purpose and only one purpose: This was Iran, colourful, blossoming and if not destroyed by the harricane of the Islamic revolution we might have been an advanced, modern, prosperous and happy and friendly nation. We were going that way. What happened that we destroyed ourselves by our own hands?

Once again in the college grounds.

Two photos of 1960 in the college. Left, Akhtar and I. It was taken the same day Akhtar had her hair on top of her head. In the second picture, me on the left, Rouhi and Kobra. The girl in the front, well I don't remember the name any longer.
It seems this Mani phto shop guy was always around to take our photo and make loads of money!

My first library membership card

This is my first Library card. Library of Parliament, date of issue 6 Ocatober 1960. I cannot remember whether I ever used the library. This card is among the few that has remained from those long gone years.

first term in college

Akhtar and I in the first term of college. November 1960.

How do all these women look? Where are they?

This was taken in 1961 just before we finish our degree.

Here we are once again. Standing from left is Akhtar with that hair! Rouhi Salahshour.

Sitting from left a girl from my class, me, Rafa'at Hassanpour and Pouran Amini.

Where are all these women I wonder? Old? Dead? Alive? Have they lived a happy life?

The last I saw Akhtar after some 24 years, I wished I hadn't seen her and instead kept the sweet memories I had of her. She had become old (was 4 years older than me), moany with that husband who had turned into a religous fenatic. We didn't have much in common and our time spent in me listening to some one I knew not. When I left their apartment, all those sweet memories of our youth evaporated like bubbles over water. Was our life all bubbles over water?

Last year in college.

Again Photo Mani and us in late March 1962 a few months before the end of three year college. From right, Rafat Hassanpour, Akhtar and I. Then I had turned into a very elgant young girl with a taste for fashion. I remember I bought the high heel shoes in a shop in downtown Tehran where the owner sold end of lie products. If one was not too fussy one could buy nice shoes at a very low price. Fereshteh was the one who knew about this shoe shop and who took me there to buy nice shoes.

A photo for my grandma!

Now, this photo was taken by Mani in the college garden and sent to my grandma. On the back which is scanned I had written "to my dearest grandma, hope you accept it". Date: 10 April 1962. I sent this photo via post to Bam while grandma was gravely ill. Later, I was told that she put this photo under her pillow and brought it back every once in a while, called my name and cried.

Photo taken by Mani Studios, located at Naderi Avenue, TelL: 37004.

We can tell the world we were!

Akhtar's photo was taken in October 1961 in the Crystal Studios or Photo Crystal as it says in the back of the photo!

Three of my dear Friends: Top, Akhtar Bahri, EsmatDargahi ( right) and Fereshteh Afshar. Esmat's photo was taken in Studio Jan on Shahpour Avenue opposite Farhang Avenue in 1960.

Fereshteh's photo was taken in Studio Crystal, Ferdousi, opposite Bank Meli.

Fereshteh was one of the few very beautiful women I met in the first year of college. She worked in the library and always wore black. Later when we became friends she told me of her sad life at that young age. She married a man whom she had fallen in love with and had a baby son (Shahriar) who was 4 months at the time we became friends. Sadly, her husband who worked in the Iranian Oil Company died in an accident leaving her a widow at 20. Naturally, she was devastated and did not know what to do with her life. Later, she was given a job at the oil company and there she married one of her late husband's colleagues and had many children with him although she was never happy with her life. She moved to the US after the revolution and the last I saw of her was after the revoluti0on when she came to visit and that was it. Events scattered us everywhere across the globe but keeping the memory of our friendship and the images of our young age is keeping all of us alive aven after we are gone.

We made a big effort to impress the boys in the college!

A photo of me and Rouhi Salahshour who came from the southern city of Ahwaz to study. The photo was taken in Ocatober 1961. We girls all competed with eachother to do our hair, to buy new materials to make dresses. There were no boutiques or dress shops in Tehran at the time to have ready made designer clothes as today. We either had to give the material to the tailor or do the tailoring ourselves. As we were all students with little money, we all knew a bit of tailoring and often satyed late at night to make a top or skirt. Trousers were not common as they are now not until the 1970s. However, we spent hours with rollers on our hair making a dress. You can see our fashionable hair and outfit in all the photos. I suppose it was mostly to impress the boys who we fancied. The boy I fancied used to and I suppose he fancied me was from the city of Tabriz in the Turkish region of Iran. We were in the same class in my first term of college where I was the only female among the class. But then when I changed subject and transferred to the English department he stopped talking to me. Well, that was the end of my platonic affair but not the end of my fashion craze for nice dress and hair style.

A freindship that lasted for many years.

These photos and many others were also taken by Mani in all the gardens of the college. It seemed Mani was always present there and we were ready for a shoot. Here I am in various poses with my friend Esmat Dargahi. I befriended her in the second year and our friendship deepened as it went alond. She always wore a scarf as she believed it right for her and we dide not mind that. Years later, Esmat was promoted as headmastewr of a large boys school; still wearing the headscarf but in fashion. She believed she looked like Indian actresses and the next photo was taken bearing that in mind. The first photo was taken in year 1960 but the rest were taken a year later in 1961 .

A curtain lifted in my life!

At college I got more confident as time passed. Year one finished and grandma and I returned to Kerman via bus, the same way we did almost a year before. She went to stay with aunt Iran as she always did and I went to see my family in our resort Dalfard, in the mountains north of Jiroft. Mum would not let me out of her sight as she wanted to see more of this daughter who had separated from her at the age of 12. During the summer 1961 I talked to mum and my father and convinced them to let me take Simin, my younger sister with me to Tehran.
By then I was well adjusted into student life in Tehran. I promised I will take care of her and I did. By then Simin was living in Kerman with mum's uncle for her 10th grade of high school. I remember that the bus arrived in Tehran bus station located in the crowded southern section in the middle of night. It was impossible to go to cousin Nahid khanum at that time although my belongings were there. I asked for a room in the bus station and the manager took us to a room upstairs his offices where there were beds. Tired as we were I pushed one bed to the door for safety and we slept for a few hours. At 6 in the morning I got a taxi and we went to the cousin's house which I knew we were not welcome. I left Simin there and went to the college to find my friend Akhtar and together we found a small apartment near the college, where she had rented a flat as well. I went back in haste, took our belongings and Simin to the new place and there she started her life in the Capital. Later, I registered her name at Shahdokht High School where she finished her secondary school 2 years later and prepared for university. Next year, I brought my 15 year old brother, Manouchehr with me and mothered them both for many years. He was a hard working teenager who got the best marks at school although he had had an accident a year before which hospitalised him for 6 months and gave him maningithis which ultimately killed him at the age of 36 at the prime of him life. But that would be then.

college years 1950-61

The same winter of 1960. My photo had been cut out of this picture. Why? I don't know. The college building is vividely seen in the background. This building belonged to one the powerful and influential Batmanghelich family who had connections with the Shah's court or so the rumours said. It was a five storey building which in later years turned into a hotel and After the revolution was taken over by the revolutionaryb guard.

I can only recognise Esmat (my close friend) on the right and of course Akhtar. The other 2 women I do not remember their names.

College years 1959-61

At the college library. From right: a student I don't remember her name, Akhtar, I, Nosrat and another student whom I have forgotten her name. Again it seems the room is so cold that we are all sitting with our coats on.

Photo taken in January 1960 by Mani photoshop, tel:64804

A very beautiful snowy day in the college. 1959

December 1959. Akhtar & I on a snowy day. In our home towns of Jiroft and Bam it never snowed. The climate was mild in winter and very hot in the summer. I think Akhtar and I enjoyed the snow immensly as we took many photos in the snowy grounds. The picture were all taken by a photo shop called Mani. The photographer used to visit the college often and take our photos. None of us had any cameras in those days.

At the college restaurant

At the college restaurant in one of those snowy days. It must have been cold because most of us are eating with our coats on. From right: I, Akhtar, Nosrat and the Kermani student I have forgotten her name.

Winter 1960.

College years in Tehran 1959-61

1959, a snowy day on the grounds of the college. I do not remember the nmae of the woman whom I took the picture with and whome I remember was a good frined of mine.

Teachers Training College, Tehran, 1959

A snowy day in the winter of 1959 on the grounds of college. From right: Nosrat Razavi, me and a Kermani student whom I have forgotten her name. Nosrat was from Bam and much older than us but she attended the college the same year as we did. She married one of the students in a ceremoney shortly after the college finished. Both she and her husband became hight school teachers. Later rumours were around that she had joined the SAVAK, the Shah's secret police and got into high positions in the ministry of education. I never sawy her after I left college. As with the other woman, she attended the college with headscarf but when she soon abandoned it and became one of Tehran's high flyers as I heard later. She left teaching to go into business as rumours suggested.

One of the first photos we took in the gardens of the college. From left: Akhtar Bahri, my best friend from Bam and a classmate from Bam Kobra Atarnejad.
Kobra came from a humbe background whose mother was a caretaker at one of the schools. She was clever but few students befriended her in Bam as the city was based on class and family name. She was my friend for many years although not as close as Akhtar. The name Kobra is an old-fashioned religous name where the working class families chose among other religous names in those days . She was always feeling disadvantaged mostly because of ker name. After the Islamic revolution I met her once and she was laughing and making jokes about her name saying that now she enjoys a high degree of respect because of her name!

Kobra moved away from that humble background quickly and became a very high calibre teacher after she graduated from the college.
Photo taken in the winter of 1960.

One of the first photos I took in the gardens of our college. The date is 11 January 1960. To my beloved mother: Rouhineh I have written. I used to write regularly to my mother and aunt Iran and later grandma when she returned to Bam on my second year. Writing and occasional telegrams were the only means of communications in those days. We regularly wrote to each other and I regret that I did not keep any of those correspondence.
Tehran of 1950s had many attractions including a big pool in the eastern side (TehranPars) which was a major attraction for the Tehranis. Tehranpars pool was one of the first place I was take to visit. The photo was taken in June 1959 shortly after our arrival.

Migration to Tehran in search of a better life!

In 1959, I finished high school in Bam where I had lived with my aunt Iran, and her family and of course my beloved grandma for 6 years. I wanted to go to Tehran to continue studies. This was hard for my mother as she expected to have me back with her after so long but now I was 19 and determined to make something of myself. During the last year of school I developed a fever which nailed me to bed for weeks and the only doctor in town did not know the nature of it and there was doubt whether I will ever recover let alone graduate from school. There was a time when before the new year of 1959, my mother who had recently given birth to baby Massoud was contacted as my aunt and grandma feared I might die. Mum came in hast, with Massoud just 25 days old, wrapped up in a bundle. Whether it was her presence or other factors, my fever died down and I was able to move around and eat although I remember I looked like a skeleton.
However, after new year holidays there was consultations with school authorities and my teachers. As all small towns, the teachers and school authorities knew our family and were aware of my situation and during my illness some even came to visit. It was decided that I attend the remaining days of school and sit for the final exams and just take my chances. Fortunately, I was good at some major subjects such as literature, English language, sciences (although very bad at maths and physics). I managed to pass my final exams with a total grade of 17/50 out of 20!
I talked with my mum and persuaded her to let me go to Tehran and grandma Bibi Atieh who was slightly ill at the time agreed to accompany me. We were so attached that the thought of separating from her was hard to bear.

In June 1959, with little money and few belongings we set out for Tehran, the unknown Capital by bus . The journey took 3 days of travelling through the deserts or Kavirs of southern Persia where the bus would stop at some points and let the passengers stretch their legs and rest at the local on-the-road cafes and then move on. Sometimes the driver would continue overnight and we would spend the night between sleep and awakeness until early morning when another small town or village would appear on the horizon and we would be allowed to get out. On such roads and in those days, bus drivers were the ultimate power as they were the major carriers of passengers across the land and brought fortune to the villages and towns or the oasis where they stopped and let the passengers out. For that, the cafe or restaurant owners paid special attention to the driver and welcomed him like a king!

However, the only two major cities I remember I first saw were the ancient city of Yazd which located at the heart of the desert and Esfahan. In both cities we were allowed to stay overnight in the small nearby guesthouses. As we travelled further away, I knew that I had left the first part of my life, the towns of Jiroft, Bam and the province of Kerman behind forever. Although I returned to Bam only once when grandma was dying and to Jiroft on many occasions but I was always considered and outsider whithin. I was never accepted nor willing to be accepted as part of one or the other although later inlife and farway in England I yearn to have had a solid root somehwere. My roots are scattered across many lands like branches of a cherry tree which when planted grow under the ground and its duplicate solute the sun in another section of the graden.
However, at the beginning of summer 1959 we arrived at a bus station in southern Tehran and went straight to my mother's cousin's home where we were supposed to stay for the time being. Nahid khanum was Alieh Khanum's youngest daughter who was married out to an army officer at a very young age. At the age of 30, she had 5 children. The army officers were often stationed at various parts of the country but colonel Naderi's last assignment had ended and he was given a permanant job in Tehran. Their rented house on Shokufeh street in southern Tehran was surrounded by high walls and concealed from the road like other houses in the big cities. We were allocated half of a room on the first floor which was a store room. We hang a curtain in between to create our own space. It was big enough for me and grandma to have our bed and suitcases and few other necessities arranged around.

My first task in the city, so unknown to me and grandma was to make enquireries about Tehran University's entrance exams (or Conquoore as it was called). Every year, thousands came to Tehran to attend the university exams as apart from few other cities lacked higher education establishments. Upon consultation with other relatives and cousins and those who knew the system, I was registered at a private evening class to improve my sciences and learn about the university exam system. I was new to Theran and listened to all advice and tried to make out which was best to take. Even learning how to get on the bus and go to the evening class and return home safe took some time to learn! I had come from a small town with regid codes of ethic where every one knew every one and family connections proveded safety and security. Here, I was in this big metropolis where I had to not only ward for myself but learn quickly to adjust and assimilate.
I did not know which faculty to register for the exam and even what subject interested me. I had to learn fast as I only had few months before the exams. At the end, I did not get into the University but was accepted at Tehran Teachers Training College. The subject I was entered was a random: a newly approved subject of Scientific Geography within the science department!
The College was located far from our cousin's house and I had to take several buses which took hours. My poor grandma did nothing during the day but wait patiently for me to come home late in the evening where she would feed me and sit to chat about my developements. Going back 5 decades, I wonder how much love and affection she had for me to bear living in that condition for a whole year just to see me settled although. I later knew she was not feeling well as a creeping cancer was invading her body and eventually killed her 2 years later.

The college year began at the end of September and there I met friends from high school in Bam and other young men and women from the province of Kerman. Akhtar Bahri who was my best friend from Bam and whom we went to school together for the whole 6 years was accepted at the Persian literature department and we spent most of our time together. We also found new friends from other cities. In those days it was customary for families to send their children to Tehran for higher education; men and women alike. At our College we had more students from outside Tehran than the Tehranis and that sometimes created culture clash. Tehranis were more open and modern while those from other parts of Iran were reserved especially the men. Girls assimilated faster and learnt quicker to dress elegantly and in fashion and do away with their town's rigid customs but boys mostly remained loyal to their customs of their birthplaces.

However, in the middle of term I met some lecturers from the English language department and one of them, a John Green from England, who often spoke with me at various times told me one day that my English is surely better than his best students and suggested I change subject and join the English Literature course. I did not hesitate as I did not like the subject I had chosen and in mid-second term I was transferred to the English department where I managed to become one of the best students.

The photos of college years show better than words the life we lived.
In one of our frequent trips, on the way from Jiroft to Bam after spending NowRooz with my family. From left: Grandma, Zarin, aunt Iran, Mehdi and I holding little Fati. The photo was taken in mid-1950s.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Mr Sadjadi with the two children: Zarin and Mehdi. The photo must have been take by late 1940s.

Aunt Iran and her husband in their prime.

This photo must have been taken in around mid-1950s. We have just finished lunch and sat for the phot in front of the washed dishes somewhere in an orchard. Our connection with the Bam's orange groves and palm trees which surrounded every house was immortal. In spring time the scents invaded the space like clouds coming down from heaven with angels dancing on the rose petals and the orange blossoms. Granma Bibi Atieh's hobby would start with her walking slowly round the orchards and picking up the biggest and most scented Mohammedi roses in her basket to bring home for distiling and making rosewater. She did the same with mints and parts of palm trees. My aunt Iran's basement was always full of bottles of rosewater and other scented herbs, pickles and jams which grandma made during the year.
Here in this photo from left: Aunt Iran, Grandma, Aunt's mother-in-law, me with a curl on my forehead, Little cousin Fati, Showkat khanum sitting on a a chair, cousin Zarin and a maid. The boy in the back is cousin Mehdi.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Me & Manuchehr in the wheat fields in Jiroft. Happy moments long gone of that dear soal we lost. The willow tree behind the next picture was located at the end of our house in Jiroft. From right, Manuchehr at about 12 years of age, me, aunt Iran and Simin and little Fati. It was one of the Nowrooz days during which my aunt's family came to Jiroft for two weeks and we had a heavenly time together. Precious, memorable and long gone! Date mid-1950s.

A picnic in one of the orange groves in the village of Narmashir near Bam. From left: Mr Sadjadi, the other men are unknown. Women from right: Eshrat khanum, my aunt Iran's sister-in-law, aunt Iran with two children, Mehdi & Zarin and grandma Bibi Atieh. The rest are servants and villagers. The photo doesn't have a date but it must be in the early 1950s.