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White Ribbon: 1936

White Ribbon: 1936

February 1936. "Frame houses. New Orleans, Louisiana." 5x7 inch acetate negative by Walker Evans for the U.S. Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Once Upscale

The stone curbs and catch basins indicate that this was once in a popular part of the city. I've seen many of the two-story single shotgun style, but never with the side balcony with wrought-iron. They were likely luxury homes thirty years before the photo.

Dilapidated and De-lovely

If a building wasn't weathered and dilapidated, Walker Evans just wasn't interested in photographing it, and I'm very thankful for that. He must have felt like a kid in a candy store in the towns and cities of the South in the '30s and '40s before people felt that they needed to get rid of those old beauties.

Radio Repairman?

The fellow at 234 is advertising tubes for 35 cents. Could it be he's helping folks in the hood by selling replacement tubes for their radio sets so they can continue to listen to WWL? Or is it just some voodoo-hoodoo potion they are selling?

[Or is he selling patched-up innertubes. - Dave]

Zero lot line

Three charming, and narrow zero lot line homes. Yes, they leave you staring at a blank wall on the side, but at least your neighbor isn't staring back. You have privacy in that respect. And privacy is good when you're probably sleeping on that balcony, if not on the roof, on hot summer nights, waiting for a breeze to blow through.

Lard Can

From The Encyclopedia of Chicago: "The Cudahy Packing Co. was created in 1890 ... Over the next 30 years, the company added branches across the country ... By the mid-1920s, Cudahy was one of the nation's leading food companies, with over $200 million in annual sales and 13,000 employees around the country ... During the 1970s, after it was purchased by General Host, Cudahy was dismantled."

"White Ribbon" was the Cudahy Packing Company's brand of lard. Wonder what the can was repurposed for? I'm guessing tobacco juice.

[It's a garbage can. - Dave]

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