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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

New Orleans was founded in 1718 by French colonists. During the first half of the 19th century, the city was among the wealthiest city due to its geographical location and port. At the dawn of 20th century, the economy was booming the city was industrializing. River steamboats were replaced with railroads and streetcars were electrified. Wood pump systems were installed that drained vast tracts of swamp and marshland and expand into low-lying areas. A new form of music called jazz began and emerged in clubs and dance halls.

The outbreak of Yellow Fever in 1905, followed by hurricanes disrupted the rapid growth. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 also affected the city with waters almost topping the levees while heavy rain still flooded parts of the city. In 1923 the Industrial Canal opened, providing a direct shipping link between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. During World War II, New Orleans was the site of the development and construction of Higgins boats which aided in the allied victory. After the War, the city was reshaped entirely with the development of New Orleans centre city suburbs.

These fascinating historic photos of old New Orleans from the 1900s will take you back.

#1 Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans circa 1905

Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans circa 1905

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#2 Haunted House (Warrington House), Royal and Hospital Streets, New Orleans circa 1906

Haunted House (Warrington House), Royal and Hospital Streets, New Orleans circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#3 Chess, Checkers and Whist Club, Canal and Baronne streets, New Orleans circa 1903

Chess, Checkers and Whist Club, Canal and Baronne streets, New Orleans circa 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#4 Old Absinthe House and the bar, New Orleans circa 1906

Old Absinthe House and the bar, New Orleans circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#5 New Hotel Denechaud, Poydras Street, Now it’s Le Pavillon. New Orleans1908

New Hotel Denechaud, Poydras Street, Now it’s Le Pavillon. New Orleans1908

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#6 The City from Algiers, At left, the centerwheeler ferry Thomas Pickles, New Orleans circa 1900

The City from Algiers, At left, the centerwheeler ferry Thomas Pickles, New Orleans circa 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#7 Roller coaster and pier at West End, Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans circa 1901

Roller coaster and pier at West End, Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans circa 1901

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#8 The French Market, Decatur and Peters Streets, New Orleans circa 1900

The French Market, Decatur and Peters Streets, New Orleans circa 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#9 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1910

St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#10 Gayarre Place monument, Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans circa 1910

Gayarre Place monument, Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#11 Mardi Gras in New Orleans, 1906

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#12 Canal Street in New Orleans circa 1910

Canal Street in New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#13 Steamer loading hides, New Orleans circa 1903

Steamer loading hides, New Orleans circa 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#14 Scottish Rite Cathedral, New Orleans, 1910

Scottish Rite Cathedral, New Orleans, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#15 Chartres Street, New Orleans circa 1906

Chartres Street, New Orleans circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#16 Mule teams and the levee, New Orleans circa 1903

Mule teams and the levee, New Orleans circa 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#17 Cotton Exchange, New Orleans, 1900

Cotton Exchange, New Orleans, 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#18 Old French courtyard, New Orleans circa 1903

Old French courtyard, New Orleans circa 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#19 Unloading bananas at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1903

Unloading bananas at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#20 Steamer loading grain from floating elevator, New Orleans waterfront circa 1906.

Steamer loading grain from floating elevator, New Orleans waterfront circa 1906.

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#21 Payday on the levee, New Orleans circa 1906

Payday on the levee, New Orleans circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#22 Masonic Temple, New Orleans, 1910

Masonic Temple, New Orleans, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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  1. The Gayarre Place Monument was first made as a show piece (I believe it was for a terracotta manufacturer, but i may be misremembering) for the 1884 World’s Fair in Audubon Park and was donated to the city afterwards. It’s one if only a small handful of remnants from that fair

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#23 Italian headquarters, Madison Street, New Orleans circa 1906

Italian headquarters, Madison Street, New Orleans circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#24 Terminal Station, Canal Street,New Orleans circa 1910. Demolished in 1956

Terminal Station, Canal Street,New Orleans circa 1910. Demolished in 1956

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#25 Sternwheeler Imperial at New Orleans, 1910

Sternwheeler Imperial at New Orleans, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#26 Henry Clay Monument, Canal Street, New Orleans circa 1900

Henry Clay Monument, Canal Street, New Orleans circa 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#27 General Lee monument, Tivoli Circle, St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans circa 1900

General Lee monument, Tivoli Circle, St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans circa 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#28 Foot of Canal Street and Riverboat at the levee, New Orleans circa 1900

Foot of Canal Street and Riverboat at the levee, New Orleans circa 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#29 Washington Artillery Hall, St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, 1910

Washington Artillery Hall, St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#30 City Hall, Lafayette Square, New Orleans circa 1910

City Hall, Lafayette Square, New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#31 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, 1900

St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#32 Packet steamer Natchez at New Orleans, 1903

Packet steamer Natchez at New Orleans, 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#33 St. Charles Hotel, St. Charles Street, New Orleans, 1900

St. Charles Hotel, St. Charles Street, New Orleans, 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#34 Mardi Gras, New Orleans, The Mississippi River circa 1900

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, The Mississippi River circa 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#35 Loading steamer Chalmette during high water, March 23, 1903, New Orleans

Loading steamer Chalmette during high water, March 23, 1903, New Orleans

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#36 Maison Blanche, Canal Street, New Orleans circa 1910

Maison Blanche, Canal Street, New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#37 Cotton on the Mississippi River levee, New Orleans circa 1903

Cotton on the Mississippi River levee, New Orleans circa 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#38 Old Spanish courtyard, New Orleans circa 1903

Old Spanish courtyard, New Orleans circa 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#39 Elks Place, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1906

Elks Place, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#40 Mardi Gras procession on Canal Street, New Orleans, 1900

Mardi Gras procession on Canal Street, New Orleans, 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#41 The Archbishopric, New Orleans circa 1910

The Archbishopric, New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#42 Southern Pacific R.R. transfer boat Carrier at New Orleans, 1910

Southern Pacific R.R. transfer boat Carrier at New Orleans, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#43 Old Absinthe House and Bourbon Street, New Orleans circa 1903

Old Absinthe House and Bourbon Street, New Orleans circa 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#44 Visiting the torpedo boats, The Porter and the Dupont, New Orleans circa 1906

Visiting the torpedo boats, The Porter and the Dupont, New Orleans circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#45 New Orleans and the Mississippi River from Grunewald, 1910

New Orleans and the Mississippi River from Grunewald, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#46 S.S. Proteus and High water at New Orleans levee, 1903

S.S. Proteus and High water at New Orleans levee, 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#47 Oyster luggers at New Orleans, 1906

Oyster luggers at New Orleans, 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#48 Oyster luggers at New Orleans, along the Mississippi, 1906

Oyster luggers at New Orleans, along the Mississippi, 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#49 New Orleans and Mississippi River from Hotel Grunewald, 1910

New Orleans and Mississippi River from Hotel Grunewald, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#50 A typical milk cart, New Orleans circa 1910

A typical milk cart, New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#51 Dock conveyors, New Orleans, 1906

Dock conveyors, New Orleans, 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#52 Oyster and charcoal luggers in the old basin, New Orleans circa 1908

Oyster and charcoal luggers in the old basin, New Orleans circa 1908

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#53 Unloading bananas at New Orleans, 1903

Unloading bananas at New Orleans, 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#54 St. Charles Avenue from Canal Street, New Orleans circa 1910

St. Charles Avenue from Canal Street, New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#55 Smallest news & post card stand in New Orleans, 103 Royal Street

Smallest news & post card stand in New Orleans, 103 Royal Street

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#56 The French Market, New Orleans, The Crescent City circa 1906

The French Market, New Orleans, The Crescent City circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#57 New Orleans milk cart, 1903

New Orleans milk cart, 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#58 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1907

Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1907

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#59 Mule teams on the levee, New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1903

Mule teams on the levee, New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#60 French Opera House, New Orleans, February 1900

French Opera House, New Orleans, February 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#61 Royal Street from Canal Street, New Orleans circa 1906

Royal Street from Canal Street, New Orleans circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#62 Old French courtyard on Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1906

Old French courtyard on Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#63 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, 1905

Carondelet Street, New Orleans, 1905

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#64 Napoleon House, Chartres Street, New Orleans circa 1905

Napoleon House, Chartres Street, New Orleans circa 1905

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#65 Canal Street in New Orleans, 1903

Canal Street in New Orleans, 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#66 Camp Street, New Orleans circa 1905

Camp Street, New Orleans circa 1905

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#67 Esplanade Street, New Orleans, 1900

Esplanade Street, New Orleans, 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#68 Stuyvesant elevators, docks, R.R. terminal at New Orleans, 1900

Stuyvesant elevators, docks, R.R. terminal at New Orleans, 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#69 French Market, New Orleans, 1910

French Market, New Orleans, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#70 A corner of the French Market, New Orleans, 1910

A corner of the French Market, New Orleans, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#71 Mardi Gras, New Orleans, the Red Pageant, 1900

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, the Red Pageant, 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#72 Royal Street, New Orleans, circa 1900

Royal Street, New Orleans, circa 1900

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#73 French Opera House, New Orleans, 1910

French Opera House, New Orleans, 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#74 Maison Blanche, Canal Street, New Orleans in 1910

Maison Blanche, Canal Street, New Orleans in 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#75 Charcoal lugger in the Old Basin, New Orleans circa 1906

Charcoal lugger in the Old Basin, New Orleans circa 1906

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#76 Canal Street in New Orleans circa 1910

Canal Street in New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#77 A close-up of the H.A. Testard Bicycles & Automobiles storefront from the previous post, New Orleans circa 1910

A close-up of the H.A. Testard Bicycles & Automobiles storefront from the previous post, New Orleans circa 1910

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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#78 A New Orleans milk cart with a one-horsepower motor, 1903

A New Orleans milk cart with a one-horsepower motor, 1903

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Fascinating Historical Photos Show New Orleans From Early 20th Century

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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