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The Matrix: 1907

The Matrix: 1907

New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1907. "Canal Street." Life on the grid a century ago. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Actually three car lines now

The Riverfront line was created in 1988, long before the Canal line was restored. It was partly as an attraction for 1988 Republican National Convention.

I see "Annunciation"

But where is "Desire"?

Only two years after Groucho joined the troupe.

And the Marx Brothers already dominated the theatrical marquee. According to Wikipedia, at that time they were purely a musical group.

[Marx Bros. was a dry-goods store on Canal Street ("Furnishers & Hatters, Leaders in Low Prices"). - Dave]

Streetcar Remnants

New Orleans once sprawling streetcar system has been reduced to two lines, Canal Street (which we see in the modern photo) and St. Charles Avenue (the old New Orleans & Carrollton Railway, in service since 1835). That said, there are still relics of lines abandoned over 70 years ago, namely Prytania Street.

This site shows some of the remnants of these long-abandoned lines:

Sadly, Google Street View hasn't made it to New Orleans yet and photos of all the patches and rail visible on lower Prytania (a line that was torn out in 1932!) don't seem to be online at this time.

[Street View is available for almost all of New Orleans. - Dave]

View Larger Map

Praying or drunk?

The man on the right behind the horse and cart holding onto the lamp standard from some reason best known to himself.

[Look closely and you'll see that it's not a lamppost. And that what the man is doing is reading. - Dave]

Old Familiar Names

I see two store names that I know very well and used to shop at from time to time at their sister stores in Baton Rouge -- Godchaux and Werlein. Godchaux's was a high end department store and Werlein's sold musical products, specializing in pianos. Neither store, to my knowledge, is in business any longer.

Five sets of streetcar tracks

And now there are two. The palm trees and street lights are a beautiful addition to this famous street.


Here is the identical view looking up (roughly west) Canal from just below Camp (on the left)/Chartres (on the right) Street taken in September of 2008.

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