Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Wild Prairie Ponies of Central Louisiana, 1937

(Above) B&W Photo: A small Creole pony stands beside a full-size Quarter Horse on the southwest Louisiana prairie. The Creole pony is especially hardy and well adapted to work in the marshes with its flat hooves.
From the Federal Writers Project article The Prairie Ponies of Allen And Evangeline Parishes, 1937:

"Roaming over the timber-less expanses of parts of Allen and Evangeline Parishes are thousands of wild ponies.  With their long manes and tails and rough, fuzzy coats, these little horses present a striking picture.  Of practically no value to the human race they have been allowed to wander the wilds of unclaimed lands for at least the past hundred years.  At the present time it is estimated that there are perhaps at least five thousand of them in this particular section

(Above) B&W Photo: A Louisiana farmer plowing his fields for planting, aided by a Cotton Mule named Patty and a Creole Pony named Dick.

Originally the so-called 'prairie pony' was the little 'Creole pony' used by the early French in Louisiana.  The Creole pony became crossed with the little ponies of the Texas plains to become that little wild animal of the waste lands in the prairie section of the State.  In appearance these ponies are in rather dull colors except for the flashing eyes and tossing heads.  All colors are represented, even the spotted or mixture of the solid colors to form the 'paint pony.'  The hardiness of the breed has allowed them to sustain themselves throughout the generations on native grasses by foraging the prairies."   

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Evangeline's Oak, St. Martinville, Louisiana

Blogger's Note: Known colloquially as the "Acadian Creation Story," the Legend of Evangeline is primary to Louisiana Cajun culture.  Her legacy, passed down for generations, is one of mystery and true love.  Based on 'le grand dérangement,' the systematic dispersal of the Acadians out of Halifax, Nova Scotia by the British.  Particularly the story of Emmeline Labiche and her true love, Louis Arceneaux.  Their story, some say, inspired the poem by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, published in 1847.  This twining of history and folklore causes devoted interest in those familiar with her story.  One landmark, from both poem and historical account, is the Evangeline's Oak Tree in St. Martinville, Louisiana, said to mark the original meeting place of Emmeline and Gabriel.  

Photo: Present Day, Evangeline's Oak near St. Martinville, Louisiana.  The ancient oak is said to mark the original meeting place of the true-life inspiration for the Acadian star-crossed-lovers in Longfellow's poem.

(Above) B&W Photo: The Evangeline's Oak is a historical location, it's marker tells the story of the real-life inspiration behind the story.  Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana.

Most of what you find is on the historic references of the Evangeline's Oak is in Cajun Folklore as it relates to the Evangeline story. As important as that narrative is to the identity of the Cajun culture, the tree itself also deserves notice.  It is massive, with limbs stretching nearly 77-feet overhead, and ancient.  A beautiful example of a loved and well-cared for Live Oak tree, often referred to as "The Most Photographed Tree in the World."

(Above) From the Historical Marker plaque neat St. Martinville, Louisiana: "Evangeline Oak Meeting place of Evangeline & Gabiel whose counterparts, Emmeline Labiche and Louis Arcenaux, lived here.  Replica of his home is in Longfellow-Evangeline State Park - one mile N. Evangeline's tomb is at the rear of the church."  Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana.

Photo: B&W: "A view across Bayou Teche (to St. Martinville, Louisiana). The church to the right: the theater in the center background, the tree of 'Basil the Blacksmith' beyond the house boat. In the rear of the building, behind this tree, is Evangeline oak."  Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana.

One needs only to look at a Louisiana map to see the impact the Legend of Evangeline has had in our area.  The Evangeline's Oak; Evangeline Parish; Evangeline, Louisiana; and Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site, to name a few notable influences.

Monday, February 24, 2014

More Than Tasty - A Brief History Of The New Orleans Praline, 1600s - Part 1

Blogger's Note:  The New Orleans Praline; its simple ingredients list belies the complex process and skill required, often passed down generations, to get it just right.  There are many wonderful places in the City to get 'authentic' New Orleans Pralines, but this blogger recommends to always accept the rare treat if ever offered one made by hand, the old fashioned way. 

From the University of New Orleans Graduate Thesis Reinterpreting the New Orleans Praline:

"Women commonly sold goods on the streets of New Orleans throughout the city's colonial and antebellum history. Forming a significant presence among the city‘s market places, they sold various food items which included coffee, calas, and pralines. Perhaps the most popular of the African-American street vendors was the praline women. They attracted the attention of visitors as well as residents.

Dating back to seventeenth century France, the praline was named for Marchel de Plessin-Pralin, who suffered from indigestion and ate almonds to alleviate the pain; his butler suggested that he cover the almonds with sugar. Sugar-coated almonds soon became a treat in France. The French settlers of Louisiana brought the praline with them.

 ...African-American women ... were responsible for the creolization of the praline, which continue to be sold in France as sugared almonds. African-American cooks replaced the almonds with pecans, which were abundant in New Orleans. They also added large amounts of Louisiana sugar as well as milk to thicken the candy. Therefore, the culinary genius of African-American women created the New Orleans praline, as we know it."

(Above) Photo: A statue near the historic French Market near Jackson Square honors the praline and other female food vendors who sold their hand-made delicacies on Sundays in front of Saint Louis Cathedral.

From Descriptions Of Street Vendors, Hawkers And Peddlers On The Streets Of New Orleans, Louisiana, date unknown:

 "In the afternoon, we had the praline vendor.  This peddler carried pralines of every description, but her heaviest sellers were the cocoanut (sic) pralines, either red or white and the peanut praline.  The best of her pralines, however, was the pecan praline but this was bought by the better class, as they were a little more expensive than the others." 

It was customary under Code Noir, the acting French law of the time, for the praline and calas vendors to eventually buy their freedom from slavery, with earnings saved from the sale of these hand-made delicacies.  New Orleans then, as it is today, was a proving ground for many independent women business owners.  And we may just have the Praline and Calas vendors to thank for making that possible.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Orleans Is A World's Fair Kind Of Town, 1884 & 1984 - Part 1

Blogger's Note:  Most of us can remember the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair.  Gigantic fiberglass mermaids alluring guests at the entrance; a monorail; a startlingly tall gondola lift that would take guests across the Mississippi River to the Westbank; and a pelican (the Louisiana State Bird) as Fair mascot, Seymore D. Fair.  What many may not remember, is this was not our city's first time hosting a World's Fair.  In 1884, the World Cotton Centennial was held in New Orleans at a time when nearly one third of all cotton produced in the United States was handled through her ports.  Plagued from the onset by scandal and 'dirty politics', both Fairs had their share of obstacles to overcome: one being the first ever to declare bankruptcy during its run; the other losing its nearly $2 million dollar operating budget before doors could open.  Compare these two World's Fairs and you will find a commonality, a rare spectacle of food, music, and culture, celebrating New Orleans on a national stage.

From the WYES website article A Fair to Remember:

(Above) Print Logo: A noted pelican, and Louisiana State Bird, Seymore D. Fair, was the official mascot of the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair.

"Filled with wonderful memories, the ... (World's Fair was a place of) ... endless amusement in the Amphitheatre; Aquacade; The Jazz and Gospel Tent; Fulton Street, an entertainment strip, The Great Hall, which after the fair became the New Orleans Convention Center; The Water Garden; Kiddie Wash; The Wonderwall, which was a half-mile long and camouflaged power lines, and the nightly fireworks displays.  Since New Orleanians don’t just eat to live, but live to eat — the fair provided ample venues where fairgoers could dine.

(Above) Photo: The Italian Pavilion was a popular dining destination for visitors and locals alike.

The Italian Village served delicious sausages and pizza; The Japanese Pavilion provided many people with their first taste of sushi; Pete Fountain’s Reunion Hall served local cuisine; The German Beer Garden provided lessons in the “chicken dance” and shots of Jagermeister®; Mango freezes and Belgian waffles were also huge favorites.

 (Above) Photo: Larger-than-life fiberglass alligators most definitely added the 'wow' factor to the New Orleans skyline, these as well as the 'King Neptune' aquatic tableau at  the entrance were provided by 'Mr. Mardi Gras' himself, Blaine Kern.
While the Louisiana World Exposition became the first world’s fair to declare bankruptcy, its attractions were popular with locals. The 1984’s World’s Fair had a positive impact on the city of New Orleans, aiding in the creation of the first residential development in the Warehouse District, The Riverwalk shopping center and the Convention Center."

 (Above) Fulton Street and the area around the Convention center are very much the same in their present condition, minus a few of the alligators.

The influx of new types of gourmet options, in a town historically enamored with exotic cuisine, had a lasting impact on the types of food you can find in New Orleans today.

Thank You Viewers! Albany Woodworks Facebook Page Receives Amazing 1,000 Likes, 2014

Caption: "1,000 Facebook Fans?  That's Sooo Many Humans.  Fun Fact: Although cute and cuddly now, these little Louisiana Black Bear cubs will grow up to become efficient 400-pound omnivores."

Thank You Viewers!  Because of you, we are able to unlock the stories of our Louisiana past with shared accounts of family memories from pivotal historic events.  We get to see the beauty of our state's natural resources, up close and personal, through your eyes. And we get a sense of what it truly means to live in an area so full of history, it's bursting at the seams. This is all made possible by you, our wonderful viewers!

We would also like to announce the winners of our Bayou Board '1,000 Likes' Giveaway contest! Winners Brittany Benton and Ronda Thomason Benton will each receive a Combo Bayou Board Set, a $19.95 value!  

From our Albany Woodworks Facebook Page:

"#bayouboards #giveaway Congratulations to Brittany Benton our lucky #1000 'Like' and Ronda Thomason Benton, our viewer who recommend her! They each will receive a Bayou Boards Combo Set, valued at $19.95! Thanks to everyone who participated in our contest, more surprises planned ahead, stay tuned! #winner #1000Likes"

Albany Woodworks is your #1 national resource for quality antique reclaimed lumber.  We have a deep appreciation for history, built on a 37-year tradition of excellent craftsmanship, which allows us to provide the best service and antique wood products for your home. 
Our new online store features 100% Antique Heart Pine and Cypress hand-crafted Louisiana-made products. including our grill-friendly 100% Antique Cypress Bayou Boards.   
Visit our Online Store: Click Here

Friday, February 21, 2014

Creative "Heart Bomb" Campain Brings Awarness To Historic Buildings On The Brink, 2014

Blogger's Note: Albany Woodworks provides resources for many historic renovations in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.  We recently participated in a event hosted by the Preservation Resource Center (PRC), offering information to home buyers looking to purchase a historic building; and for current owners of historic properties looking to renovate.  We appreciate the efforts of the PRC to retain the legacy of our architecture and natural resources.  Here is a story featuring the PRC and their fresh look on a long-standing issue.  A"Heart Bomb" campaign targeting blighted or neglected historic buildings, where local volunteers participated in a loving "heart-filled" tribute to the buildings and history of New Orleans.

From the National Trust For Historic Preservation website article Heart Bombs 2014: Five Events that Showed Historic Places the Love:

"This February, heart bombs happened in four different cities (plus a virtual one in Vermont).  For their first year of heart bombing, the Preservation Resource Center, chose vacant buildings in New Orleans that are in various stages of the blight mitigation process.

(Above) Photo: Simultaneous events were held in cities across the country, including Buffalo, NY and Cleveland, OH.  Photos courtesy of Buffalo's Young Preservationists.

There are properties in bad shape in just about every New Orleans neighborhood that still have great architectural detail and potential.  Heart bombing is a way to remind the community that these buildings deserve a second chance and can not only catalyze aesthetic improvement in their neighborhoods, but also bring jobs to the community."

(Above) Photo: The Preservation Resource Center partnered with local volunteers to spotlight historic buildings in need of repair.  Photo courtesy of the Preservation Resource Center New Orleans.
The Crush: The group’s favorite on its list this year was the Dixie Brewery building. Dixie has been a beloved fixture on Tulane Avenue since it was built in 1907, and was the only major brewery still operating in New Orleans when it was severely damaged following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and forced to close.

(Above) Photo: The historic Dixie Brewery Building, on the footprint of the new VA Hospital, currently under construction.  Photo courtesy of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

The red-brick German Romanesque building is located in the footprint of the new VA Hospital. Plans call for incorporating only the facade and the iconic Dixie tower into a new bio-research facility, while the rest of the building will be demolished. Selective demolition to a later addition to the complex is currently underway."

"Sweet Child O' Mine" - New Orleans Style Guns N' Roses Cover ft. Miche Braden, 2014

Blogger's Note:  This has been making the rounds on the internet, and we just couldn't resist!  "Sweet Child Of Mine" re-envisioned as a tasty New Orleans jazz cover, replete with a scorching blues-soaked vocal performance by Ms. Miche Braden, and tight jazz rhythms from Postmodern Jukebox.  Enjoy!

From the Postmodern Jukebox Youtube page:

"Our friend Miche Braden returned to help us show what Guns N' Roses 'Sweet Child O' Mine' would have sounded like if New Orleans blues legend Bessie Smith had recorded it back in the '20s. That note at 3:58 was so powerful that the room literally shook... p.s. - those looking for the iconic opening guitar riff: it's at 2:04.  Check out Miche's show, The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Albany Woodworks Heart Pine Brings New Life To Historic Capitol Building, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2013

Blogger's Note: Captured in 1862 during the Civil War by Union forces under the command of Admiral Farragut, and totally reconstructed after the war, "The Old Gray Castle," was abandoned in 1932 for the current State Capitol building. Albany Woodworks provided over 10,000 sqft. of Premium Antique Heart Pine Flooring used to completely restore the Old Senate Room and Chambers floors in 2013.

(Above) Color Photo: The Old Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Albany Woodworks supplied over 10,000 sqft. of Antique Heart Pine Flooring to the 2013 historic renovation, helping to restore the building to its original 1880's condition.  Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana.

Envisioned by architect James Dakin as a Neo-Gothic medieval castle overlooking the Mississippi River, construction on the Louisiana State Capitol building was completed in 1847.  There was a need for a new State Capitol Building when, in 1846, the Louisiana Legislature in New Orleans decided to move the seat of government to Baton Rouge. 

(Above) Present Day Photo:  The dramatic focal points of the interior, a spiral staircase and stained glass dome were added in 1882, after a complete repair due to damage sustained to the building during the Civil War.  Photo courtesy of Albany Woodworks © 2014 

Premium Antique Heart Pine Flooring from Albany Woodworks was used throughout the Old Senate Room and Chambers to restore the room's floors to their original 1880s condition.  

(Above) Present Day Photo:  The interior floors of the Senate Chamber were restored to their original condition with Antique Heart Pine Flooring from Albany Woodworks.  Photo courtesy of Albany Woodworks © 2014

From the Louisiana's Old State Capitol website:

Interior and Exterior Restoration of Louisiana's Historic Statehouse
"In 1991, after decades of neglect, a group of dedicated, concerned citizens and politicians saved the Old State Capitol from demolition and began a massive reconstruction to restore the historic building. Since then, the historic statehouse has undergone many changes. 


(Above) Present Day Photo:  Albany Woodworks' Antique Heart Pine flooring blends beautifully with the existing original wood elements, like these grand doors framing the view from the Old Senate Chambers to the Old Senate Room.  Photo courtesy of Albany Woodworks © 2014

In April of 1994, Louisiana's Old State Capitol completed Phase I of a multimillion dollar preservation and renovation project and once again opened its doors to serve the people of Louisiana."

(Above) Interior photos of the 1994 Old Louisiana State Capitol building restoration project.  Photos courtesy of Louisiana's Old State Capitol website.

*Updated*: In 2013, on-going projects from the 1992-94 interior renovation required over 10,000 sqft. of Premium Grade Antique Heart Pine flooring from Albany Woodworks.  In January 2014, the Capitol Building re-opened after the work on the Old Senate Room and Chambers was completed, and we are able to share up-to-date photos, of the finished result, from our recent visit.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Coffee & Chicory, Inside The New Orleans Coffee Industry, 1800s - Part 4

Blogger's Note: Not surprising to those who live here, New Orleans might just be where the morning coffee break originated early in the 20th century.  You can walk down any number of streets in the French Quarter of New Orleans and see coffee shops at many levels of repair, or charming lack there of, the local houses all offering the same potent morning brew - Coffee with Chicory. Coffee society in New Orleans began with one woman, Rose Nicaud.  Located on historic Frenchmen Street in the French Quarter, the aptly named Cafe' Rose Nicaud, gives us her story, and the beginning of our city's long-standing love affair with coffee.

(Above) Loyola Coffee And Chicory Label.  'It's In The Pack.'  A High Grade Blend Sold Only Ground And Steel Cut American Coffee Co., New Orleans, U.S.A.

(Above) Tulane Brand Pure Coffee Label.  'Every Cup A Cup Of Joy.'  'Strictly High Grade, May Be Had In Either Whole Bean, Ground, Steel Cut, Or Pulverized.'  American Coffee Co., New Orleans, U.S.A.

May this blogger be as impartial in today's post as the New Orleans-based American Coffee Co., in its seemingly simultaneous production of both Loyola and Tulane Brand Coffee.  Believed to be in some way related to the universities respective histories; with campuses historically linked, at the minimum by their sheer proximity, on tree-lined St. Charles Avenue in Uptown New Orleans.

As an alumni of Loyola University, I am modestly amused the Loyola label nods to a professed preference by most New Orleans for Coffee with Chicory, while the Tulane brand opts for a classic approach with "Pure Coffee." 

No additional information is currently available on these coffee labels, nor any mention in advertisement of the time.  There is, however, a relationship to accounts regarding the American Coffee Co., a company established in the 1890s, whose first product was the popular French Market Coffee brand, and was among the brands featured at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. 

(Above) B&W Photo: Display of New Orleans-based coffee brands, 1904 Saint Louis Worlds Fair, Louisiana Exhibit. On April 30, 1904, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known as the 1904 World’s Fair, opened.

Tulane coffee was among the brands represented at the 1904 Saint Louis Worlds Fair, retitled the "Louisiana Purchase Exposition" for the duration.  Other brands on display included:  French Opera Coffee & Chicory, Sutetu Coffee & Chicory, and Cottolene.  

(Above) B&W Photo, date unknown:  The American Coffee Company of New Orleans produced the Loyola Coffee and Chicory and Tulane Pure Coffee Brands.

From the Louisiana State Museum website:

"The American Coffee Company was founded in 1890 at 423 South Peters Street Its first product was French Market Coffee. Over the years American's brands have included St. Charles, Honeymoon, French Opera, Tulane, Pointer, French Market, Dixieland, Loyola, and Monteleone.

After acquiring the New Orleans Coffee Company in 1934 and Merchants Coffee in 1950, the company ensured its place in stores around the region. The company still roasts such popular brands as Union and French Market Coffee at 800 Magazine Street and provides commercial grades for local restaurants and businesses under the label Alameda."

Continue Article: | Coffee & Chicory - Part 1 | Coffee & Chicory - Part 2 | Coffee & Chicory - Part 3 |

Our 100th Post! This Day In New Orleans History, February 19, 1914

Blogger's Note: To celebrate our 100th Albany Woodworks News & Events Blog Post, we look 100 years into our past with 'This Day In New Orleans History.'  We visit the pages of the New Orleans Herald for the headlines of the day.  Published on Thursdays in eight to fourteen pages, the Herald served Algiers, a neighborhood of New Orleans located on the Westbank opposite the French Quarter on the Mississippi River, and the Central Business District, from 1905-1953.

New Orleans Herald Article February 19, 1914:

(Above) The Potomac spent her early days as the Tugboat Robert W. Wilmot, in service to the W. G. Wilmot Coal Company of New Orleans, before being sold to the military for the Spanish-American war effort.
"Naval Tug Potomac Was The R. W. Wilmot.  The reported abandonment (Blogger's Note: Reports of the Potomac's abandonment due to ice reached the New York Naval Yard on February 14, 1914, a few days prior to this article) of the United States naval tug Potomac in the ice floes of the Gulf of St. Lawrence marks, perhaps, the final chapter in the eventful career of the former New Orleans tug Robert W. Wilmot.  An Associated Press dispatch received here Monday from St. John, N.F., states that the Potomac is held fast in ice, and was abandoned Saturday night by the thirty-six officers and men of her crew.

This powerful tug was sold to the United States government during the Spanish-American war by the W. G. Wilmot Coal Company of New Orleans, for which company it was built, and during its sixteen years of history as a naval tug participated in numerous thrilling rescues of life and vessels at sea, and had braved the dangerous ice coasts of the far north and south almost to Cape Horn.  Shortly after being sold to the government, and rechristened, the Potomac was assigned to the Atlantic fleet off Cuba, and salvaged the Spanish steamer Sandoval, and assisted in saving and towing to American docks a number of other Spanish vessels captured or disabled in the battle off Santiago, Cuba.

The Potomac assisted in towing the world's largest floating dry dock, the Dewey, from Sparrows Point, Md., to Manila, having taken the dry dock as far as the Suez Canal.  The Potomac also had the distinction of being the first relief vessel to reach Martinique after the great earthquake disaster a few years ago (Blogger Note: Author may be referring to the 7.9 Martinique Earthquake, December 3, 1906).  

(Above) The former Robert W. Wilmot, rechristened as the USS Potomac in service to the United States Navy for many years before being decommissioned in 1922.

The Potomac was of steel construction and finished in expensive mahogany and sycamore.  It had triple-expansion engines, capable of developing 2000-horse power, and at the time of construction, in 1897, was the most powerful tug in the world.  It was sold to the United States navy for $125,000."

Blogger's Note: The Potomac left Newport, Rhode Island on January 28, 1914 to rescue vessels icebound off Newfoundland. The Potomac was herself iced-in and abandoned on 14 February, but would ultimately survive her icy fate.  Salvaged in the late spring, once the ice had thawed, and arriving to the New York Navy Yard in early June, where she received updating and repair.  The Potomac returned to the Atlantic Fleet for the remainder of her military service, spending time in the Panama Canal Zone.  Decommissioned on June 26, 1922 she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on July 31st and sold for civilian service to the New Orleans & Bisso Towboat Company on December 1st of that same year.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Love Potion Scandal Reaches Headlines Of New Orleans Times, 1870

Blogger Note:  For those of us suffering from a Valentine's Day candy hangover, a quirky yet *true* story of how an 1800s love potion failed to deliver.  The resulting passages are taken straight from the headlines and equate to, for the time, a wildly sensational cautionary tale.  It can bear to be said yet again, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

New Orleans Times April 10, 1870 Article Not Strong Enough:

One of the last and most romantic cases of domestic dissension yet reported from the legendary Fauboury (Faubourg) Treme, is that between two of the fair of the portion of Crescentia, and arises as to the possession of a sweetheart.

The affair commenced with the application of Loise Lapatrie to a lady herbalist or doctoress, of some fifty or sixty summers, of an accommodating character, and who pretends to be of assistance in all kinds of sickness, whether of the mind or body, whether from pangs of childbirth to those mental disturbances which will form a desire to know the future or from the cruel indifference and neglect of some indifferent lover.  In other words, M'me Bourges deals in philters (Blogger note: A philter or the plural philters is a drink supposed to arouse love and desire for a particular person in the drinker; a love potion) and love potions, and the lover must be very obstinate indeed who can resist her spells.

Louise having made application and stated her case to this party, went off joyful, and lost no time iin giving Charles Raynor, the love one sought, a small dose of the purchased charm, by way of experiment.  The philter worked admirable; he made more protestants and promised more new dresses than he had ever done before in the whole course of the acquaintance.  The only trouble was that he went away and seemed in no hurry to return.

The love-stricken, Louise now ascertained that Charles, the traitor, had been in the company of her rival almost ever since leaving, and lost no time in increasing the dose.  Again Charles worked around, but the second visit concluded, he seemed to hover as much as ever between his two flames, and to oscillate, with the regularity of a pendulum, from the house of one rival to that of the other.

Louise, now rather badly disgusted with her love philter, made another application to the sage femme, and the latter listened with great attention when Louise told the names of her sweetheart and fair rival.  'There is no trouble about the matter at all,' said the midwife, assuming an air of wisdom; 'the fact is this, that Charles Raynor is married to your rival, and the latter is, besides, very jealous.  For that reason I am now able to inform you that she made an application to me a little before you did, to keep her husband's love.  What is worse, is that she paid double the money for her charms that you did for yours, and consequently it has twice the strength.  However, yours, you can see, had some effect, or else the young man would not have been moving about, not knowing which one to take from one house to the other.' 

The unfortunate Louise reflecting that her prospect was rather slim of winning the permanent affections of Charles, if he was already married, and having besides no money to purchase a charm of the required strength, found it much more convenient to abuse the philter-vender as an imposter to the police, though without thus far much hope of seeing her money returned."

Coffee & Chicory, Inside The New Orleans Coffee Industry, 1800s - Part 3

Blogger's Note: Not surprising to those who live here, New Orleans might just be where the morning coffee break originated early in the 20th century.  You can walk down any number of streets in the French Quarter of New Orleans and see coffee shops at many levels of repair, or charming lack there of, the local houses all offering the same potent morning brew - Coffee with Chicory. Coffee society in New Orleans began with one woman, Rose Nicaud.  Located on historic Frenchmen Street in the French Quarter, the aptly named Cafe' Rose Nicaud, gives us her story, and the beginning of our city's long-standing love affair with coffee.

(Above) 'The Coffee New Orleans Likes.' French Market Coffee and Chicory New Orleans Coffee Co., Inc., French Market Mills, New Orleans.  'The First thing in the Morning.'  'Drink French Market Tea It Is Delicious.' 

The sheer abundance of labels and print advertisement from New Orleans-based coffee importers of the recent past, gives support to accounts of large scale coffee production throughout the city.  The following are some historic examples of packaging that were used by New Orleans companies, and brands very familiar to coffee drinkers of the time.

(Above) Poydras Market Two Pounds Roasted Coffee and Chicory.  Estate of Charles Feahney, Importers and Roasters, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.

(Above) Cafe' Du Monde 'CDM' Old French Flavor Coffee and Chicory.  "Just Enough ... Not too much Chicory."  A Product of the Southern Coffee Mills, Ltd. New Orleans, Louisiana.

(Above) Roman Kings Coffee and Chicory.  'If It's a San-I-Baker Product ~ You're Safe.'  The San-I-Baker Corporation, New Orleans, U.S.A.

(Above) B&W Photo, date unknown: The San-I-Baker Corporation New Orleans, Louisiana.

The labels of this time are bright, exotic, and - more often than not - rendered in patriotic colors.  Bold hand-drawn fonts seem more familiar and, somehow, comforting to the eye - more so than the crisp lines of modern typography.  

Coffee & Chicory, Inside The New Orleans Coffee Industry, 1800s - Part 2

Blogger's Note: Not surprising to those who live here, New Orleans might just be where the morning coffee break originated early in the 20th century.  You can walk down any number of streets in the French Quarter of New Orleans and see coffee shops at many levels of repair, or charming lack there of, the local houses all offering the same potent morning brew - Coffee with Chicory. Coffee society in New Orleans began with one woman, Rose Nicaud.  Located on historic Frenchmen Street in the French Quarter, the aptly named Cafe' Rose Nicaud, gives us her story, and the beginning of our city's long-standing love affair with coffee.

Article from the September 30, 1941 issue of The New Orleans Item, entitled Boston Tea Party Gave U.S. Coffee Drinkers A Start:


(Above) Color Print Advertisement for Importers Coffee Company in New Orleans, Lousiana.

"The British are largely responsible for the popularity of coffee in America and doubly-so for the addition of chicory.  Coffee was taken up by the New Englanders (sic) after the Boston Tea Party, a demonstration against the exorbitant tax on tea.  From there it spread to other parts of the English-speaking America.

(Above) Original Tea Leaves, steeped in Boston Harbor after being dumped overboard during the Boston Tea Party of December 16th, and collected on the shores of Dorchester Neck on the morning of December 17, 1773.  On display at the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.

How It Started: During the Napoleonic wars the British blockade kept coffee from the continent.  French, Belgians, Dutch, and Germans found that the root of chicory, when roasted and ground, offered a nice substitute.

This was mixed with coffee in the case of the fortunate who had some but wanted to stretch it, drunk straight by others, and mixed with roasted acorns and cereals by still others.  When coffee came back, the acorns and cereals went by the board, but the chicory persisted.  It still does, to the disgust of the green coffee men.

It is so unpopular, as a matter of fact, that Ukers, a New York green coffee man, in his thoroughly-embracing book on the subject of coffee, ironically says:

'In Europe, chicory is not regarded as an adulterant.  It is an addition, or modifier, if you please.  And so many people have acquired a coffee and chicory taste, that it is doubtful if they would enjoy a cup of real coffee if they should ever meet it."

Continue Article: | Coffee & Chicory - Part 1 | Coffee & Chicory - Part 3 | Coffee & Chicory - Part 4 |