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Canal Street: 1907

Canal Street: 1907

New Orleans circa 1907. "Canal Street." Center stage: A Streetcar Named Prytania. Composite image made from two 8x10 inch glass negatives. View full size.


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Drip - Drip - Drip

Early streetcars and interurbans did not have sealed wheel and axle bearings. The result was that lubricating oil leaked out onto the pavement. You can readily see in these two photos which tracks were the busiest. San Francisco's Market Street had four streetcar tracks, and was known colloquially as "The Roar of the Four".

A Streetcar Named Prytania

As cool a photo as I've seen in a long time. Thank you, Dave

Details about the photo

Of the five tracks in this view, only the two outer tracks were dual gauge. Actually, you can see it, just vaguely. It's the right-hand rail that was dual, and it looks like the railhead is wider. That's the effect of the double right-hand railheads next to each other (with just wheel flange clearance between them).

We can date the photo to no later than 1904. In that year, by Louisiana law, all vestibules had to be enclosed. I suspect it dates from 1900-1904.

[It was taken the same day as this view, whose negative is marked with a copyright date of 1907. - Dave]

The car with the Prytania clerestory sign was presumably assigned usually to that route, but is not at that moment on that route. A Prytania car would not be on that track. Note the Special sign hanging from the dash. I believe the car is on some kind of special assignment, perhaps a charter.


1907 dentistry on an industrial scale ... now there's an appealing idea! "Those are screams of joy, kids -- no worries!" My mother recalls her 1930s visits to a dentist named Dr. Carpenter. Guess what sort of tools he used?

Expensive healthcare

It is probably no coincidence that a Loan Office is in the same building as the National Dental Parlors.

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