SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Mardi Gras 1952

Mardi Gras 1952

New Orleans French Quarter during Mardi Gras 1952 captures characters and a club headlining noted jazz clarinetist Alphonse Picou (1878 -1961). Mr. Picou played the Paddock Lounge at 309 Bourbon Street in the 1950s so it’s possible this is taken there. A small but nice view of Mardi Gras before it was commercialized and the Quarter before the T-Shirt shops. From Mother-in-law collection, wish the life-loving lady was still around and to answer a few questions.

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Commercialized Mardi Gras

I'd love to have been at a Mardi Gras parade in 1952, but modern day Mardi Gras is great too. It is much bigger, but it's not commercialized. It's still funded by the krewe members and that makes it the greatest free show on earth.

Picou on Bourbon Street

Great photo! Yes, the location is the 300 block of Bourbon Street. The sign for Picou is on Steve Valenti's Paddock Club, a long time jazz venue. (The animated neon sign depicting a galloping horse is mostly hidden behind the hat of the cowboy at left.) With various name changes good jazz could still be heard at this location into the 1980s. (Contrary to popular rumor, good jazz can still be heard in the Quarter, just not on the Bourbon Street tourist strip.) To the right the pocket park was at the time called "Edison Park" (created when the old electric station at the location was demolished), since renamed "Jazz Legends Park".

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | 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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