The 1929 transit car strike left a lot of Palace car damage.
Palace car damage
Photo of New Orleans Public Service, Incorporated (NOPSI) streetcar 625, an American Car Company “Palace” streetcar, photographed on 2-July-1929, showing damage by vandals. The motormen and conductors operating the city’s streetcars struck NOPSI on 1-July-1929. Those workers inflicted a great deal of damage to streetcars, tracks, and stations overnight, 30-June/1-July, and into 2-July. This photo, taken by Franck Studios, is part of a series documenting that damage for NOPSI’s lawyers. NOPSI 625’s roll board indicates it last operated on the West End line, likely on 30-June. The operator parked the streetcar at Canal Station. That station stood on the original site of the New Orleans City Railroad Company’s car and mule barns, built in 1861. By the 1920s, several of the original buildings remained. The public notices like the one tacked up on the end of the streetcar went out on 11-July-1929, so that may specifically date this photo.
The 1929 Strike
The Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, Division No. 194, negotiated with transit managers for NOPSI for several years, in the run-up to 1-July-1929. Talks broke down that Summer, and the union called for a strike. The motormen and conductors took destructive actions overnight. They vandalized a number of streetcars, particular at Canal Station, along with track on Canal Street. They also vandalized the station itself.
While the story of the invention/creation of the po-boy sandwich offers a romanticized version of the four months of the strike. It’s clear, however, that the circumstances were anything but romantic. While the violence of the first two days of the strike subsided, it picked up again by 5-July. NOPSI decided not to operate any streetcars from 1-4 July.
On 5-July-1929, NOPSI brought in strike-breakers in an attempt to restore streetcar service. One Palace streetcar departed Canal Station that Saturday morning. Crowds of union members and their supporters blocked Canal Station and the other streetcar barns after that first streetcar left. The lone streetcar traveled down Canal Street to Liberty Place. The crowd followed it, eventually surrounding the car. They pulled the strike breakers off the car and set it on fire.
Faubourg Marigny railroad ferry connected the East Bank with the NOO&GW railroad.
Faubourg Marigny railroad ferry
S. T. Blessing stereograph, titled, “View from Opelousas railroad ferry,” The image is essentially undated. The New York Public Library lists it as 1850-1930. The likely date is 1870s. The photographer stands at the Faubourg Marigny ferry landing, located at Elysian Fields Avenue and the river. The New Orleans, Opelousas, and Great Western (NOO&GW) railroad operated the ferry, connecting the east bank with their station in Algiers.
The NOO&GW railroad originated on the West Bank, in Algiers. It incorporated in 1853, with the mission of connecting New Orleans to points west. So, prior to the Southern Rebellion, the railroad grew west, to what is now Morgan City, Louisiana. The Union took control of the “Texas Gauge” railroad, from 1862 to 1865. Expansion continued during reconstruction. Additionally, we’ve written a couple of articles on the railroad. It started from a Louisiana operation to ownership by Charles Morgan, to becoming part of the Southern Pacific system.
The Marigny riverfront
Blessing captures an active riverfront scene. The vessel to the center of the photograph is an ocean-going ship. While this vessel may depart for the US east coast, like New York or Baltimore, the riverboat on the right will likely return up the Mississippi. Two mules stand in the foreground, resting after unloading barrels. Those barrels likely contain molasses. Sugar plantations processed raw sugar cane. They converted it to molasses, making it easy to barrel and transport. Longshoremen loaded those barrels on both types of ships.
In the background, a church steeple rises from the neighborhood. Given the position of the photographer, that is likely the spire of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
The ferry itself
Robinson Atlas, 1883, showing the Pontchartrain Railroad station on Elysian Fields and the ferry landing.
The NOO&GW ferry crossing enabled passengers to board trains on the east bank, cross the river, and continue westward. While Algiers was the railroad’s main station, getting passengers there was still a challenge. The railroad ferry gave passengers a more-comfortable ride, in their coach and sleeper cars.
After Charles Morgan sold the NOO&GW to the Southern Pacific system, trains crossed the river in Jefferson Parish. That ferry landing was near the location of the Huey P. Long bridge. Rather than traveling to the Faubourg Marigny railroad ferry, passengers boarded SP trains at Union Station. The departing trains headed north from there.
PATREON Note: So, today’s post is NOT behind the Patreon wall, in the hopes that some of the folks who see the links on social media will get a taste of what patrons get daily. While we present the first hundred or so words on each post to non-patrons, we felt it would be good to offer an entire post.
Patreon History offers a path for supporting NOLA History Guy.
Tomorrow begins a new dynamic for NOLA History Guy, Patreon History! We’ll make a post a day available for subscribers only. Subscriptions will be one dollar (US$1) per month. I’ve had a Patreon account for a few years now, but never really structured it. That changes tomorrow!
There are a few reasons why Patreon History makes sense for me.
It’s popular. Patreon went through a few different phases. Startup, place to monetize sex work via photos and video, creative writing. Going into 2021, there are a number of very popular blogs and podcasts delivered via Patreon.
Patreon’s been around for a while. The platform is well beyond startup. The business model has shaken out. Blogs and podcasts across the spectrum use the platform to monetize their work.
WordPress Integration. It’s easy for me to link Patreon to my existing blogs. The reader/listener doesn’t have to use the Patreon site. They can enjoy my content on the existing blogs.
How it’s going to work
Logo for the 1811 Kid Ory Historic House in Laplace, LA. A photo of Kid Ory is one coming up in January.
I post one to three photos/images a day to social media. In 2021, one post gets monetized. You’ll have to subscribe to my Patreon to read the article accompanying that post.
So, the technical side: I set Patreon to show the first 100-ish words of a post. While the full article is behind the “wall,” the photo displays. You see the preview. You get this now, when I post to Twitter and Instagram. That remains the same. What you get for your support is the full article.
Rabbit holes and deep dives
I enjoy posting images to social media. They spark conversation. We fall down rabbit holes on some oddball subjects. Those rabbit holes often become 1000+ articles on the blog. That continues with Patreon History. Everyone sees the “featured image” and the first paragraph or so. Subscribers see those articles in their entirety.
Sometimes a rabbit hole turns into a “deep dive.” Subscribers get those 2000+ word articles. I’m also starting a substack for long-form articles. Those get cross-posted to both platforms.
Podcasts for Patreon Histoy
NOLA History Guy Podcast goes to twice a month, starting tomorrow. One episode stays outside the “wall,” the other goes behind it, for subscribers. The model for this changes from the posts. I set podcasts so that anyone who has ever donated to the Patreon account sees them. That means, if you donated a dollar three years ago, you get the podcasts. If you sign up for January and cancel in February, you get them. We’ll be soliciting sponsors for the podcast as well.
A number of pods use the two-ep-per-month model. Some require a Patreon subscription level of $5/month. So, if you listen to three of these, you’re putting up $180/year. That’s not what we want. Maybe we’ll add “premium” content in the future. For now, if you give us a dollar, we’re good.
Years ago, I split up my multiple social media personalities. A friend fussed at the mix of food porn and politics in @YatPundit. So, I started a second account on Da Twittah, @YatCuisine. That became two blogs. Add the history blog to that. NOLA History Guy grew out of my streetcar blog. It absorbed the streetcar stuff. The other subjects continued in separate spaces.
NOLA History Guy – All. The. History. Along with the podcasts.
YatPundit – rants, politics, local stuff.
YatCuisine – Da food!
Eloquent Profanity (at ebranley dot com) – Fiction, verse, personal logs.
Content on each blog/site goes Patreon in 2021. Like the history blog, the others present both open and subscriber posts. YatPundit’s Pub podcast remains open.
The ultimate goal
I’m not looking to get rich by expanding Patreon History. The ultimate goal here is to raise a steady stream from supporters to a) pay Lady Duchess of the Red Pen (my editor, Dara Rochlin) and b) hire a proper producer for the podcast. If I can get a minimum of $300/month of support, that can happen.