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by Charles R. Lowe

    N. Y. S. Rys., Roch. Lines 3002                          photo by Stephen D. Maguire, NYMT Collection

Photographers are rarely caught in a photo, but here we have a case where it happened. Steve Maguire, on one of his first trips to Rochester, has set his sights on recording car 3002 at University loop. Located at the southwest corner of the intersection of University Avenue and Culver Road, University loop in this view cannot be too far from its abandonment on August 9, 1937.* The man who has blundered into the scene at left, out of focus but looking neat and trim in his white shirt and dark tie that were de rigueur for 1930ís railfans, is none other than George Slyford. Slyford made many fine photographs of Rochester streetcars, but this accidental image is the best of the known likenesses of the man himself. On the back of the original print, now in the NYMT collection, Maguire wrote the following:

NYS-3002-University loop
Look at Slyford: Who took this?
/s/ S. D. Maguire

This print was probably sent by Maguire to John Woodbury, a Rochester railfan who no doubt accompanied Slyford and Maguire to University loop. Maguire is poking a little fun at himself for having ruined an otherwise fine shot of car 3002 with a fuzzy view of Slyford. The loss of one more perfect trolley photo is really our gain, permitting us a rare look at the men behind the cameras.

* August 9, 1937 was the University lineís last full day of service: Democrat and Chronicle, August 8, 1937, pg. 1B; Rochester Times Union, August 9, 1937, pg. 17; Democrat and Chronicle, August 10, 1937, pg. 15)


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