Twelfth Night Zoom Talk

Twelfth Night Zoom Talk

Twelfth Night Zoom Talk on January 6, 2021, 6pm CST

Twelfth Night Revelry

Twelfth Night Zoom Talk.

Join us next Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to talk about Twelfth Night Celebrations in New Orleans. We expect this gathering and discussion to last about an your, from 6pm CST to 7pm-ish.

Here’s the details

Edward Branley is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Twelfth Night in New Orleans
Time: Jan 6, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5043835087

Meeting ID: 504 383 5087
Passcode: tacos
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Can’t make it?

Don’t worry, we’ll record it and share it here on the website.

See you Wednesday!

 

Patreon History in 2021 – Support Us

Patreon History in 2021 – Support Us

Patreon History offers a path for supporting NOLA History Guy.

patreon history 2021

Patreon History

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!

Why Patreon?

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.

Other content

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.

Mister Bingle 2020 – NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-December-2020

Mister Bingle 2020 – NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-December-2020

Mister Bingle 2020 still goes “jingle jangle jingle!

Mister Bingle 2020

The “Big Bingle” on the front of Maison Blanche on Canal Street. (Edward Branley photo)

Mister Bingle 2020

We’ve done a lot of things on Mr. Bingle, the most visible icon of Christmas in New Orleans, but not a podcast ep! Mister Bingle-2020 looks to change that, as we talk about the little snow elf.

Origins

mister bingle 2020

Emile Alline, MB Display Director, received awards for his work, as described in this 1953 newspaper article.

The idea of Mister Bingle began with a trip to Chicago. In 1947, Mr. Emile Alline managed the display department at Maison Blanche Department Store on Canal Street. The “Greatest Store South” opened at 901 Canal Street in 1897. Fifty years later, the store survived two World Wars. Alline was an important part of advertising and promoting the store in the post-WWII boom. Alline took the train up to Chicago to see what stores along that city’s famed “Miracle Mile” were up to for the Christmas season. He took note of many things, particularly the signature character, “Uncle Mistletoe,” at Marshall Fields.

Alline decided Maison Blanche needed a Christmas character. He came home from that Chicago run and got to work. Rather than a paternal, big, Santa-like character, Alline sketched a more child-like figure. His concept began with a small snowman. The snowman received wings of holly and a big red nose. An upside-down ice cream cone became his hat.

While it would be Alline’s job to bring his preliminary concept to life, it wasn’t his decision to go forward. He pitched the character to Herbert Shwartz, the President of Maison Blanche. Shwartz liked the concept, naming the snow-elf, “Mister Bingle.” His initials became “MB.”

Sketches and Ad Campaigns

Mister Bingle 2020

1947 newspaper ad introducing Mr. Bingle

Mister Bingle had the green light for his red nose. Alline went to work with the store’s art department to standardize the character. Bingle found his way into the daily ads in local newspapers. A back story on the snow-elf’s origin was created. New Orleans got a new Christmas story.

“Proto-Imagineers”

The artists of a department store’s Art and/or Display department were some of the most creative people in town. These are the folks that come up with ideas that make memories, like Phil Preddy’s six-foot letters, making lighted messages on the front of Krauss. A decade later, Walt Disney looked for these creatives, to be his “Imagineers.” Mister Bingle 2020 continues to inspire people with talent and drive.

Mr. Bingle goes 3-D

After the 1947 holiday season, MB desired a larger presence for their snow-elf. Alline planned to include Bingle in the store’s window displays. He commissioned a fifteen-inch Bingle doll. The prototype looked great. So, doll Bingles appeared in the windows.

While those display Bingles met different fates over the years, Mister Bingle 2020 includes the original prototype. Emile Alline’s daughters preserved the prototype doll. According to their Facebook pages, the daughters alternate Christmas “custody” of the prototype. Bingle celebrates with both branches of the family.

The Puppets and Oscar Isentrout

mister bingle 2020

Oscar Isentrout, performing with Mr. Bingle at a charity event in 1984.

The folks who worked at the Canal Street store were quite familiar with businesses behind them in the French Quarter. While Bourbon Street was not as tawdry as it is for Mister Bingle 2020, the street had interesting night clubs. Several Bourbon Street clubs offered burlesque shows, interspersed with Jazz and vaudeville acts. i can just imagine Emile Alline, or one of his team mentioning a puppeteer who worked those clubs, maybe with a “or so I’m told” added to the story.

So, Alline connected with a puppeteer, Edward Harmon Isentrout. Isentrout went by “Oscar” professionally. Oscar Isentrout performed with several marionettes as an act in-between the dancers.

The creatives jumped on the idea for Bingle. Oscar referred them to a German puppet-maker, who built two Bingle puppets. Oscar became the eyes, hands, and most importantly, the voice of Mr. Bingle when those puppets took stage.

Public Appearences

While the window displays worked on Canal Street, the “Greatest Store South” grew. Maison Blanche offered three locations for shoppers in the 1948 holiday season. The first store off Canal was at the corner of S. Carrollton Avenue, Tulane Avenue, and Airline Highway. Then came the company’s Gentilly store, on Gentilly Road, just off of Elysian Fields Avenue.

These two new stores meant Bingle hit the road. One of the puppets Oscar used stayed at the main store. The other puppet traveled to the other stores, as well as other venues for short shows.

WDSU Commercials

Television audiences grew across the country in the 1950s. New Orleans was no stranger to this. Maison Blanche expanded their ad strategy to include TV ads. Oscar’s traveling puppet show went to television, specifically, WDSU (Channel 6). Oscar performed live commercials during the station’s morning cartoon/children’s programming. Oscar passed away in 1985, but Mr. Bingle lived on, particularly in animation.

Where are the puppets now?

mister bingle 2020

Mr. Bingle and Oscar, Hebrew Rest Cemetery. (Dominic Massa photo)

The two Bingle puppets are still with us. One of those puppets came into the possession of Jeffery Kent after Oscar passed away. The puppet was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Bingle was a flood victim. The worst of the damage was rust-related. The puppet’s metal frame rusted, and the orange color bled out into the fabric. Kent painstakingly restored Mr. Bingle to his original condition. Since local TV weatherman Bob Breck encouraged Kent to take on the project, Mr. Breck re-introduced Mr. Bingle to New Orleans on his show.

What of the other puppet? At the time I wrote my book, Maison Blanche Department Stores, a friend told me a story. He said the second puppet, the one that remained at Canal Street, was still around. According to the story, an individual took possession of the puppet when Dillard’s acquired MB. This tale is similar to the story of the “Holmes Clock.” At D. H. Holmes, a pair of customers feared that Dillard’s would not take the tradition of “meet me under the clock” seriously. So, they removed the clock, returning it to the location when the building was converted into a hotel. I’m told that the caretaker of the second puppet doesn’t want to be identified (my friend wouldn’t give up the name), but the puppet will re-appear when that individual passes away.

The Big Bingle

A large-form Mr. Bingle first appeared on the front of MB Canal Street in the 1950s. That first “big Bingle” vanished in the 1960s.

mister bingle 2020

Ad in the Times-Picayune, 6-Nov-1953, for the arrival of Santa and Mr. Bingle, via American Airlines.

The store did a number of “big” promotions for Mr. Bingle in the 1950s and 1960s. MB partnered with Eastern Airlines several years, to “fly in” Santa and Bingle. They presented a motorcade/parade. One year, Mr. Bingle arrived at Canal Street, a Bingle doll “landing” on top of the building via helicopter.

By the 1980s, “big Bingle” returned to the front of Canal. The store commissioned a large, fiberglass Bingle for all to enjoy. When Dillard’s acquired MB in 1998, they also acquired Bingle. Dillard’s displayed the big Bingle on the side of their Lakeside store (the former D. H. Holmes Lakeside) in 1999. It’s unclear why the tradition failed, but Dillard’s put Big Bingle into storage.

Big Bingle made appearances in downtown Christmas parades. Carnival krewes, such as Metairie’s Krewe of Caesar, put papier mache Bingles on floats, celebrating New Orleans icons.

mister bingle 2020

“Big Bingle” is a mainstay of City Park’s annual “Celebration in the Oaks” (Louis Maistros photo)

Dillard’s finally donated Big Bingle to New Orleans City Park in 2005. Now, he’s an annual feature of Celebration in the Oaks.

 

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-June-2020 – Katy Morlas Shannon Part 2

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-June-2020 – Katy Morlas Shannon Part 2

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-June-2020 is part two of our interview with Katy Morlas Shannon

Katy Morlas Shannon (Zooming!)

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-June-2020

Just one segment this week, which is part two of our talk with historian and author Katy Morlas Shannon. We had such a good time talking, and I don’t want to edit any of it!

Buy Katy’s Book!

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

The New Orleans Bee was a French-language newspaper that began in 1827. L’Abeille (its French name) offered New Orleans’ Creole community the news for over a century. So, we spoke with author and historian Katy Morlas Shannon about her background, The Bee, and how she came to curate the selection of articles from the paper’s first year.

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

The New Orleans Bee: Dispatches from the first year of Louisiana’s longest-running French-language newspaper – Kindle Edition

The Plantations

These are the places we talked with Katy about during our chat.

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

The Big House at Whitney Plantation

Whitney Plantation

nola history guy podcast 16-May-2020

Laura Plantation

Laura Plantation

nola history guy podcast 16-May-2020

Evergreen Plantation

Evergreen Plantation

Fleurty Girl on NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-June-2020

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

Crown baseball tee from Fleurty GirlWe did our interview via Zoom, but only used the audio for the podcast. Katy had a really cool t-shirt from Fleurty Girl on!

Katy M. Shannon on Facebook.

I promise, we’ll get back to the Riverfront Streetcar Line in a few weeks! While we’ll be talking to folks, research continues. Therefore, the Riverfront segments offer lots of details.

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-June-2020 – Katy Morlas Shannon Part 2

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020 – Katy Shannon Part I

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020 is part one of our interview with Katy Morlas Shannon

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

Original location of the International Trade Mart, Camp and Common Streets.

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

Two segments on a longer edition of NOLA History Guy Podcast this week. First is our pick of the week from Today in New Orleans History. Additionally, part one of our interview with Katy Morlas Shannon.

May 13, 1966 – City agrees with International Trade Mart on a new building

nola history guy podcast 16-May-2020

Architectural rendering of the World Trade Center Building as the Four Seasons Hotel (courtesy DDD)

Our Pick of the Week from NewOrleansPast.com is May 13th. On that date in 1966, the city finalized an agreement with the International Trade Mart. The Mart wanted a new headquarters building, So, they acquired property at 2 Canal Street. The organization’s first headquarters was the above building at the corner of Camp and Common Streets. Mayor Vic Schiro continued Chep Morrison’s plans in his administration. The goal was to make New Orleans a gateway to Central and South America. Modernizing the ITM contributed to this. So, the organization built a 33-story office building at the foot of Canal. That building remains a part of the downtown skyline.

nola history guy podcast 16-May-2020

“ITM Building” – watercolor by Jeanette Boutell Woest, 1966. via HNOC

In 1985, the ITM merged with International House to become the World Trade Center. The ITM building housed a number of international companies. That’s how the “Mart” worked. Additionally, the building housed foreign consulate offices. As the city’s economy shifted from port traffic and the oil industry to tourism, things changed. While the ITM building was a good location, newer office towers on Poydras appealed to companies. Hurricane Katrina emptied the building. Even the World Trade Center moved across the street to One Canal Place. In 2012, the organization gave the unoccupied building to the city. So, it will soon become a Four Seasons Hotel.

The New Orleans Bee

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

The New Orleans Bee was a French-language newspaper that began in 1827. L’Abeille (its French name) offered New Orleans’ Creole community the news for over a century. So, we spoke with author and historian Katy Morlas Shannon about her background, The Bee, and how she came to curate the selection of articles from the paper’s first year.

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

The New Orleans Bee: Dispatches from the first year of Louisiana’s longest-running French-language newspaper – Kindle Edition

The Plantations

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

The Big House at Whitney Plantation

Whitney Plantation

nola history guy podcast 16-May-2020

Laura Plantation

Laura Plantation

nola history guy podcast 16-May-2020

Evergreen Plantation

Evergreen Plantation

Katy Morlas Shannon

 

NOLA History Guy Podcast 16-May-2020

Crown baseball tee from Fleurty Girl

We did this interview via Zoom, but only used the audio for the podcast. Katy had a really cool t-shirt from Fleurty Girl on!

Katy M. Shannon on Facebook.

I promise, we’ll get back to the Riverfront Streetcar Line in a few weeks! While we’ll be talking to folks, research continues. Therefore, the Riverfront segments offer lots of details.

NOLA History Guy Podcast 05-April-2020 D. H. Holmes, Streetcars

NOLA History Guy Podcast 05-April-2020 D. H. Holmes, Streetcars

NOLA History Guy Podcast 05-April-2020 presents the first of a four-part series on the Riverfront Streetcar line.

nola history guy podcast 05-April-2020

Rollboard sign on NORwy&Lt 208, showing it running on the Tchoupitoulas line, 1925

NOLA History Guy Podcast 05-April-2020

Two segments on NOLA History Guy Podcast 05-April-2020, our pick of the week from NewOrleansPast.com, and the start of a series on the Riverfront Streetcar line.

Today in New Orleans History

NOLA History Guy Podcast 05-April-2020

Ad in the Times Picayune, 28-March-1924

Our Pick of the week from the Facebook group, Today in New Orleans History, is Campanella’s entry for April 2nd. Daniel Henry Holmes opened his store on 2-April-1842. The first store was not the Canal Street location. He opened up at 22 Chartres, in the French Quarter. The store did well, and Holmes moved to the 800 block of Canal Street in 1849. D. H. Holmes is an icon, from “meet me under the clock” to the selection of merchandise, to the suburban stores.

There’s nothing more New Orleans than a discussion on social media about which store your momma liked better, Holmeses or Maison Blanche! We thought about adding a discussion or quote section in NOLA History Guy Podcast 05-April-2020, but it can get ugly.

The 2-April entry at New Orleans Past shows two ads from the Times-Picayune. The first is from 28-March-1924. It includes a pictorial history of D. H. Holmes around the border. Very nice!

NOLA History Guy Podcast 05-April-2020

Da Clock! Ad in the Times-Picayune, 2-April-1938

The second ad is from 2-April-1938. To celebrate the store’s birthday, D. H. Holmes ordered a 400-pound birthday cake, featuring, naturally, the clock!

Riverfront Streetcar History

nola history guy podcast 05-April-2020

NORwy&Lt 208, Ford, Bacon & Davis car, on the Tchoupitoulas line in 1925 (Franck Studios/HNOC)

We present a four-part series on the Riverfront Streetcar Line. The line rolled for the first time in 1899. The series:

I. Background – streetcars running along the New Orleans Riverfront
II. The Riverfront line, 1988-1997
III. The updated line, 1997-present
IV. NORTA 461 – History of a Riverfront streetcar

Today: Part I – background leading up to 1988

streetcar at the french market

Johnson Bobtail streetcar passing the French Market, ca 1880

Prior to the Riverfront line, streetcars didn’t operate close to the riverfront. That’s because the wharves and railroad tracks occupied the space. The closest streetcars were on the streets servicing the Riverfront, like Tchoupitoulas, Laurel, and Annunciation Streets uptown, and N. Front and Decatur Streets to the French Market on the downtown side.