During the 1956 Olympics held in Melbourne, my Grandfather worked at the Olympic stadium every day, except for the opening and closing ceremony days.
He saved his pennies and had a roll of film for each day, before or after his shift he was allowed to roam the stadium in the standing area only. This he did, exposing a roll of film each day.
Each evening he and I went to the bathroom, I sat in the bath at the plug and tap end, he sat on the bath at the other end. As the film was the cheaper orthochromatic film (money was exceedingly tight) he used a small kerosene hurricane lamp sitting on a stool in the corner. The kero lamp had a big square glass bottle with the ends cut off over it, this bottle had some red cellophane paper from Christmas wrapping stock wrapped around it, this was his one and only safelight.
We developed the film in a seesaw fashion with both of us holding one end of the film; this is the bit where I came in handy. As my eyes were very good, I could tell him when the film had pictures on it, which decided the time was right to end development.
For picture making he had a small 6x9 wooden contact frame (which I now have). Paper was in 6x9 cut sheets so one loaded the negative, then the paper, then closed the double-sided spring backed backside. My job then was to walk to the clothesline and back with the holder on top of my head if it was a sunny day, if it was cloudy, I walked to the back fence and back. We then processed the paper in cut down kerosene tins, using the same safelight used for film developing.
I now realise that I didnít have to hold the contact holder on the top of my head, but as a young fella it gave me a sense of importance, which is obviously why my grandfather instructed me very seriously, of the importance of being able to hold the contraption dead straight and not to run or deviate from the decided upon route in the backyard.
Our bathroom was out the back of the house at one end of the back verandah, there was no electricity there; we used a kero lamp for light. The hot water system was part of the kitchen stove, which was a solid fuel, or wood burner type. Effectively this was a self sufficient or independent way of photography, compared to today that is.
As a matter of interest we used an egg timer in the house for most things, including a shower. My grandfather, father and myself had to have our shower all over from start top finish before the egg timer was through. We did this by quickly rotating as one hopped in, got wet, hopped out then lathered up, then hopped back in to rinse off. Any longer than an egg timer under the shower, the hot water ran out.