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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Bon Temps: 1900

Bon Temps: 1900

Feb. 27, 1900. "Mardi Gras procession on Canal Street, New Orleans." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Lundi Gras

That probably is Rex, it is just not Mardi Gras but Lundi Gras, the day Rex arrives in the City. It isn't the formal parade, and often a substitute King was used. The ceremony has been revived in recent years.

Not Rex?

I don't believe this is Rex. The float is too small, and in 1900, the king's float had large lion statues on the front. The crowd is way too small for Rex on Canal in that era, and the float is going the opposite direction from the advertised route that year (should be headed towards the lake on the lower side, this one's heading towards the river). Also, Rex in 1900 was Capt. T.J. Woodward, a Civil War navy veteran with a long white beard in 1900, not this young whippersnapper.

Another Photographer

Perched on a rickety-looking platform on the right.

Bleacher seating...yikes

When did they stop allowing those monstrosities to be placed on those rickety N.O. building canopies? They look steep and dangerous just to climb up. Wonder how many people fell off sober alone?

Fleet's In

Or at least the battleship Texas is in port. At least two and possibly three of the streetcars are carrying signs that this car goes to the USS Texas (or something similar). Note the two rows of sailors with their rifles in the "present arms" position.

This Texas was the 1892 pre-Dreadnought ship which was the first American battleship commissioned. Known as "Old Hoodoo" thanks to a number of incidents early in her career she mounted two 12" guns and six 6" guns in casmates. She was part of the Flying Squadron during the Spanish-American War and was at the Battle of Santiago. She was renamed San Marcos in February 1911 to free the name up for the Dreadnought USS Texas. Her life under this name was short as she was sunk in shallow water as a target in March 1911. The wreckage remained in place until 1959 when it was deemed a hazard to navigation.

A new Shorpy record

Dozens and dozens of streetcars and maybe hundreds in this picture. I don't remember seeing this many streetcars in one pic at Shorpy unless there was another one shown of this same event.

[I wonder if any were named Desire. - Dave]

The answer

So *that* is how great-great-grandma collected all those beads.

A seeming preponderance of men

Any idea why there are so few women watching the parade? I count about a half-dozen along the parade route.

Sister Bertrille

Flying nun, lower left. Actually, the hat is sort of a poke bonnet masquerading as a wimple. Very cool.

The Great Compromiser

The big statue among the streetcars is the Henry Clay, dedicated in 1860. In 1901, about a year after this photo was taken, it was moved to Lafayette Square, where it remains to this day.

Road Hazard

One marched with care in the days of horse-drawn floats.

Kingly Krewe

This looks to be the Krewe of Rex.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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