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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Napoleon House: 1905

Napoleon House: 1905

New Orleans circa 1905. "Napoleon House, Chartres Street." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Ruminations

Re: "The Old St. Louis Hospital"

In the wrought iron of the building at left, you can see the letters spelling St. Louis. I presume the remainder is lost behind the curvature of the ironwork.

Notice those glistening slabs of ice in the ice wagon.

My parents and grandparents used an "icebox," and my kids still laugh at me when I slip and call the refrigerator the "icebox".

It's incredible that routine, even mundane photos become valuable archival documents with the passing of the years.

Buddy's Blues

A line from "Buddy Bolden's Blues":

I thought I heard Judge Fogarty say:
"Thirty days in the French Market, take him away.
Give him a good broom to sweep with, take him away."
I thought I heard him say.

I can hear Buddy's trumpet echoing through those streets.

Any bar in a storm

The balcony at the left of the photo was attached to the old St. Louis Hotel, which fell victim to the Great Hurricane of 1915.

The solid Napoleon House has survived that and more recent storms. After Katrina in 2005, they were among the first businesses to reopen after electricity was restored to the French Quarter. A sign in the window announced their limited post-Katrina menu of M.R.E.s -- "Muffulettas Ready to Eat."

Chez Napoleon

This is our absolute favorite bar to go to in New Orleans. Classical music, Charcuterie Plate and a Pimms Cup. Ah, heaven!

C'est la Vie

As the Napoleon House this was my favorite watering hole back in the 1950's and the repository of some great, great memories. Was largely patronized by the locals then, but later changed its focus to attract more tourists with lunches featuring a rather lame po boy sandwich. You can't go home again.

Throw me something, Mister!

Oh to be on one of those balconies with a Mardi Gras parade passing by below. Back when you had to be cautious after shouting, "Throw me something," lest you be beaned by a coconut.

The Doctor is in?

There appears to be a young Dalek waiting at the curb, just in front of the horse. Exterminate!

I am so jumpy

when I view these photos in high def. The people you don't see in regular view almost seem like spirits when you are scrolling along the pic and POOF they are staring back at you.

By the way, is that sewage running along the curb?

[Mud would be my guess. With perhaps a soupcon of manure. - Dave]

The iceman cometh

Great picture, Shorpy does it again!

Grandma's room

If this photo had been taken in 1938 that might have been my grandmother in the window. That's when she lived on the 3rd floor.

Identity theft, 1905-style

According to this article in L'Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orleans dated Tuesday May 5, 1905, a certain John Escat was sentenced to 30 days for impersonating Joseph Labourdette.

I am depending on my limited French to translate.

John Escat showed up at the Consumers Brewery Company, presenting himself as Joseph Labourdette, proprietor of a liquor store at the corner of Chartres and St. Louis Streets. He claimed to have lost his coat and convinced the Brewery to loan him $3.

The real Joseph Labourette, when asked to repay this supposed loan, refused and this was when the deception was discovered. Escat pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $25 fine or spend 30 days in jail. It appears he chose the latter.

The last sentence is a mystery: "Fogarty is said to be armed and dangerous." No Fogarty named in the rest of the article.

[Fogarty is the recorder, or judge. (Escat a ete en outre condamne a $25 d'amende ou 30 jours de prison par le recorder Fogarty comme suspect et dangereux -- "Escat was sentenced to a $ 25 fine or 30 days' imprisonment by the recorder Fogarty as suspicious and dangerous.") - Dave]

Ah! Thanks!

Whoa, Nelly!

Seeing that person in the window sent a chill up the nape of my neck. It looked to me like Hannibal Lecter in drag.

A table in the courtyard please.

Bring me a Pimm's Cup and a Muffuletta. I shall enjoy lunch until dinner.

Geaux Saints!

Plus ça change

Coming, Mother

Yikes! It's Mrs. Bates.

 
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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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