Archive for the ‘#howtotuesdays’ Category

New Orleans Traffic: Then and Now

Our how-to today is inspired by A traffic survey of New Orleans metropolitan area, 1944-1945. This report located in the stacks of our Special Collections & Archives was produced in a time before I-10 existed and when the main airport for New Orleans was located on Lake Pontchartrain.

Be you on foot, driving a car, biking or taking a city bus… Traffic (and getting stuck in it), is (and was) inevitable. Whether it’s the junction of I-10 and 90 around the New Orleans landmark, the Superdome, trying to get ANYWHERE during Mardi Gras or navigating the overcrowding of cars and shoppers on Magazine Street…. Everybody gets stuck in traffic.

These days we have traffic information available on our smartphones that automatically re-route us based on real-time geolocation data. In 1944,  these were the results of the timely endeavor of gathering and mapping traffic patterns…

Versus the ease of getting the flow of traffic this morning…

So, how did traffic flow in 1944 New Orleans?

Here is what car traffic looked like…

And transit based traffic…

Currently, a section of I-10 called the Claiborne Expressway is on a list of Freeways Without Futures with active proposals seeking its removal.

This area was once a thriving commercial area and greenbelt that became decentralized through the bisecting of the neighborhood by the interstate.

“Claiborne Avenue: Past, Present, and Future” from Congress for the New Urbanism on Vimeo.

Good luck getting around and a here’s a lagniappe of Ringo Star making sure you take the time to stop and smell the roses!

A traffic survey of New Orleans metropolitan area, 1944-1945 is available for viewing at the Special Collections and Archives, Monday – Friday from 9:00 – 4:30.

#howtotuesday: Imagine a Presidency

In this election day edition of Found in the Archives we take a look at My First Days in the White House.

Many people dream of becoming President of the United States, but few write a detailed “account” of their first 100 days in office before they announce their candidacy. Huey P. Long did.

At the time of his assassination, Long was serving as a United States Senator from Louisiana, after having served as Louisiana’s Governor from 1928-1932.  Widely considered to be a potential candidate in the 1936 Presidential elections, Long had penned his imaginings and the volume was quickly published after his death in September 1935. The forward reads:

This volume is presented as a prophecy by its Author, the late Huey Pierce Long, wherein he endeavored to portray what he would have done had he become President and how he would have conducted the national government; setting forth his impressions of what he believed would be the reaction of the people referred to and the public, generally.

In the book Long imagines detailed conversations between himself and many prominent figures as he cajoles them into joining his cabinet and realizing his vision.  In the passage below John D. Rockefeller Jr. joins the team.

Turning to Aldrich, I inquired:

“Do you believe Mr. Rockefeller would accept the chairmanship of a committee of business men, bankers and industrialists to draft me a plan to carry out my Share Our Wealth program?”

“I believe so, Mr. President,” replied Aldrich, “But I should like to confirm that by telephone.”

I indicated the telephone on my desk.

“Call him now,” I said.

In a few minutes Aldrich was relating our conversation to John D. Rockefeller, Jr., at his home in New York City. From his replies it was obvious that Mr. Rockefeller was accepting the chairmanship. When Aldrich hung up the phone, he turned around and said:

“Mr. President, Mr. Rockefeller will serve as chairman of your committee.”

“That’s fine,” I said. “His services will allay fear throughout the business world.”

The volume features many triumphant illustrations by Cléanthe, picturing the Presidency that never was:

My First Days in the White House is available for research Monday – Friday, 9:00-4:30 at the Monroe Library Special Collections & Archives.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

#howtotuesday: Gardening

George Washington Cable (1844-1925) is well known for his writing depicting Creole life in nineteenth century New Orleans (most notably Old Creole Days and The Grandissimes). Less well known, perhaps, is his penchant for gardening, and his 1914 book The Amateur Garden. Illustrated with many photographs of home gardens, Cable’s book asks such important questions as “Where to Plant What?”

Hence the initial questions – a question which every amateur gardener must answer for himself. How much subservency of nature to art and utility is really necessary to my own and my friends’ and       neighbors’ best delights? For – be not deceived – however enraptured of wild nature you may be, you do and must require of her some  subserviency close about your own dwelling.

Cable offers additional advice and encouragement to the amateur:

“Muffle your architectural angles in foliage and bloom”

And from Cable’s own garden:

“Some clear disclosure of charm still remote may beckon and lure”

The entire book The Amatuer Garden has been digitized and made available on the Internet Archive.

More recent gardening help can be found in “Gardening in New Orleans: A Publication of the New Orleans Gardening Society”.

Published in 1952, this volume walks the home gardener through all manner of foliage, including chapters on ferns, flowering vines, and azaleas, just to name a few.

Encourage your green thumb and come in to Special Collections and Archives to view these books for yourself!

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Identifying Microscopic Fungi

When I was looking through our stacks for a special volume to blog about, I came across Mordecai Cubitt Cooke’s Rust, Smut, Mildew and Mold: an introduction to the study of microscopic fungi.

I was initially impressed by the illustrations…

Then, I found written imagery that showed signs of an eccentric at work, which peaked my interest…

Made curious, I did a little research… and found a man with a truly fascinating life!

M.C. Cooke did not have much in the way of a formal education but wrote hundreds of articles and books on botany and mycology. Collected roughly 46, 000 specimens, contributed over 20 years of service to museum collections, while editing journals and founding societies.

Mordecai, was a busy guy!

Rust, Smut, Mildew and Mold: an introduction to the study of microscopic fungi, is viewable in its entirety at the Internet Archive online, or by visiting the Special Collections and Archives anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 4:30.

#howtotuesdays : Learning to Spell in 1865

With the start of a new school year it’s always good to brush up on your spelling and here at Loyola’s Monroe Library’s Special Collections and Archives we have found just the primer : Chaudron’s Spelling Book: Carefully prepared for family and school use

In 1865, Madame Adelaide de Vendel Chaudron (writer, translator, and resident of Mobile, Alabama) created a slight volume of spelling instruction. Though the book small, Chaudron and her publisher S.H. Goetzel’s aspirations for the volume were somewhat sizable. They likened the lack of standardization in schoolbooks in the United States to an “evil” that the Civil War had at least temporarily delivered the publishing industry due to the “scarcity of materials”.

Those concerns aside, the volume’s rustic woodblock illustrations and lively and somewhat nonsensical verses make enjoyable use of the vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation lessons therein.

Enjoy several of its charming pages below.

This volume is housed in the Special Collections and Archives of the Morgan Library.

For a more in-depth look at this volume you can peruse it in its entirety over at the Internet Archive.

#howtotuesday: Speak New Orleanian

New to town? You will find that New Orleanians have a unique way of speaking, and it can sometimes take some getting used to. Today’s Found in the Archives is here to help.

First things first: How to pronounce New Orleans. For the “correct” way, let us turn to the The Yat Dictionary by Christian Champagne.

It may be useful to review “Actual Dialogue Heard of the Streets of New Orleans” by consulting F’Sure! published in 1978 by New Orleans cartoonist Bunny Matthews.

And last, but certainly not least, every New Orleanian should watch “Yeah You Rite!” , a gloriously 1980s documentary on the variety of New Orleans accents and dialects. The Monroe Library has a DVD copy you can check out. But in the meantime, enjoy dis lagniappe, dahlin’! 


Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

#howtotuesday: Manage Muskrats

If you are anything like me, you haven’t given a lot of thought to the muskrat. When it comes to local semiaquatic rodents, my mind goes immediately to the nutria, the much-maligned destroyer of our wetlands. But the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has given a lot of thought to the muskrat. In fact, sixty-five years ago they wrote the book on it.

The Muskrat in the Louisiana Costal Marshes was published in 1949, and represents the work of a five-year study, conducted 1940-1945, into the “ecology, population trends…and managing and producing muskrats on the Louisiana coast.”

It is a technical text, but does provide an interesting overview of the history of the animal in the state

As well as photographs of the fieldwork of the study

And of course, the elusive muskrat himself.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.