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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • PUEBLOS OF THE SOUTHWEST

The Streetcar I Desired: 1957

The Streetcar I Desired: 1957

New Orleans, June 15, 1957 -- on the same day that I took the Canal Street photo pictured here, my goal was to find a streetcar that still retained the destination for the Desire line, made famous by playwright Tennessee Williams. In 1957 the Desire line had used buses for almost 10 years, but I approached the operators on their break at the foot of the Canal Ferry loop and asked them if they could roll the destination sign to "Desire" to allow me a photo shoot. The first three or four cars only contained signs for the two remaining streetcar lines, Canal and St. Charles. Then on about the fifth try, bingo, Car 910's signs still had the full complement of abandoned streetcar lines, so the kindly motorman set it for Desire and continued on his rest break until I had completed my photographic endeavor. 35mm Kodachrome by William D. Volkmer. View full size.

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No Desire for that monument

Seen in the background here at its original location at the base of Canal is the controversial monument to the Battle of Liberty Place, 1874. Erected in 1891, it commemorated (in no uncertain terms) the efforts of the White League, which was revolting against the Reconstruction-backed, integrated state government in a skirmish that ultimately killed 30 people. Later, words were added to the monument that the battle helped to solidify "white supremacy"in the South. Declared a public nuisance in the 1990's, the monument was moved (due to construction) to a warehouse for a time, then placed back on view again but in a nearby, less prominent location before finally being dismantled entirely in the early morning hours of April 24, 2017.

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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