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Old French Market: 1890s

Old French Market: 1890s

Circa 1890s. "The old French Market, New Orleans." Points of interest include many horsecars and an arc lamp on a boom. Ship Chandler's Grocer wagon and Deutsche Grocery at left. Photo by William Henry Jackson. View full size.


On Shorpy:
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1900s Hipster Market

The photogenic corner of the French Market also seen on Shorpy:

The following description hits many of the key features of today's urban farmers' markets: a wide array of local produce, convenient access to public transportation, unique people-watching, multilingual service, and plentiful coffee stands.

The Picayune's Guide to New Orleans, 1900

French Market.

You know it by the busy rush, the noisy rumbling of carts and wagons, the ceaseless clatter of foreign and native tongues all commingled, the outlandish garbs and curious faces, and the strange, novel, cosmopolitan scene, nowhere else to be witnessed on the American continent. The market is open daily between 5 a. m. and 12 m.; but Sunday morning between 8 and 9, is the best time to visit it. Every stranger goes to see the French Market. There is no more remarkable or characteristic spot in New Orleans. Under its roof every language is spoken. The buyers and sellers are men and women of all races. The French Market comprehends four distinct and separate subdivisions under a special roof. These devisions are called respectively the “Meat Market,” the “Fish Market,” the “Fruit” and “Vegetables” markets. Around these is a fringe of fruit stalls and coffee stands.

interesting time for the Quarter

By the 1890's the French Quarter was known as Little Palermo, with the recent immigration of Sicilians to New Orleans. There was a turf war between the Provenzano and Matranga gangs, leading to the killing of Chief of Police David Hennessy. A not guilty verdict led to 11 of the 19 indicted being lynched. The national newspapers first used the word Mafia to cover the big story back then. Many Italian immigrants moved away from the Quarter, but you can still buy a muffuletta at Central Grocery located footsteps from where this old picture was taken.

I wonder

Why all the spouts on the rain gutter of the structure in the middle ?


Below is the same view from August of 2008.

Ship chandler

"Ship Chandler's Grocer wagon"

I always thought of a chandler as a a soap and candle maker, but looking it up I see that is also such a thing as a "ship chandler" -- a supplier of general provisions and equipment for ships -- of which I was unaware.

Portions still standing

Google Street View won't let me get quite the same angle, but here's a similar view of the Old French Market today, with several of the buildings on the left side of the street in the Shorpy photo still visible:

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The pictured ship chandlers and grocers are long gone, replaced by brightly colored umbrellas and open-air dining.

William Redmund

At the St. Charles Theatre:
"The Great Emotional Actor"
1850 - 1915?

Photo from here.

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