14 thoughts on “Insect Control, 1965

  1. Ah, the good old days, when airplanes delivering clouds of DDT over the riverside areas of Portland were considered gifts to mosquito-scratching residents such as our family!

  2. The cars in the background look like late 40’s, early 50’s models. Are we sure of the date of the picture?

  3. In the summer of 1952 before my senior year in high school I worked at Skyways at the Troutdale airport. This was down the line from where Holly Fletcher operated the spray planes. The pilot was “Red” Myler. I also think the photo date is earlier than 1965.

  4. So Troutdale Airport? I was wondering where this was taken. That must have been fun job for the pilot flying that plane around the city doing ‘bombing runs’ with that spray system.

  5. Even with the best of intentions the ecological damage which that spraying did is still to be determined. Who knows where all that autism and other disorders came from.

  6. According to the FAA’s N-number registry, N49312 was a North American AT-6A, s/n 77-4627, registered to the City of Portland. The certificate was issued March 2, 1950. The registration was canceled March 11, 1952, which supports a much earlier date for this photo.

  7. With a Biplane in the background. Also Mike D, the road looks like maybe in the area of 10800 NE Holman St. It’s just a guess.

  8. I certainly can’t say that it is not at Troutdale Airport – looking at a 1951 aerial*, it could have been taken at the far eastern end of the hangers/ramps at Troutdale, with the levee angling away to the northeast just north of the runway. However, the 1951 aerial** also shows a general aviation area off the northeast corner of the Portland-Columbia Airport along Marine Drive, which could also quite plausibly match the levee configuration from the photo. Might the City of Portland have been more likely to base a city-owned plane at the Portland airport, rather than at Troutdale?

    * Troutdale airport, 1951: https://www.historicaerials.com/location/45.550556831245984/-122.38698720932005/1951/16
    ** Portland-Columbia Airport, 1951: https://www.historicaerials.com/location/45.595775515951516/-122.5950837135315/1951/17
    (The airport’s name was changed to Portland International Airport in 1951, after construction of what is now runway 28L. This aerial shows the runway still under construction – scroll towards the south.)

  9. Given the original marshy nature of the Portland Area it is a miracle the early settlers didn’t get eaten alive by the mosquitoes or decide to move elsewhere. I remember them being bad during parts of the mid to late 50’s and into the early 60’s. Made pleasant warm summer evenings not so pleasant..

  10. People worldwide have always had to contend with mosquitoes in marshy areas. It was not uncommon for ancient tribal people to have to move away from the water’s edge during mosquito season.

    In-fill now-days continues to destroy swamps which lessens mosquito habitat. Climate change is also gradually drying out larger areas of marsh. Perhaps conservation groups will evolve to rescue the threatened mosquito populations!

  11. I grew up in suburban Cleveland, Ohio (Shaker Heights) 1940s-70s.) Until 1960 or so, sprayer trucks sprayed DDT on the trees on the tree lawns. We were to stay inside for an hour! Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring helped end the spraying.

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