History is an evolving story. Here at The Historic New Orleans Collection, we gather, research, and share artifacts from New Orleans’ many stories, weaving together the people, places, and events that connect us to the city. First Draft gives readers inside access to our vast institutional holdings and staff expertise in a fresh and dynamic way. Read the latest stories below, or scroll down to browse by theme.


September 18, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

A month ago, we wrote an article about THNOC’s acquisition of an iron pipe long buried beneath Bourbon Street. It quickly became the most popular story we have posted, so we thought our readers might enjoy hearing about another recently acquired piece of antiquated infrastructure—an original city water pipe made out of cypress wood. That’s right: wood.




September 13, 2019
By Nick Weldon, associate editor

In 1935, fried chicken history was made—not with a clever tweet or a sandwich war, but with one man, one bird, and a timer. That year, James “Buck” Fulford set a record when he killed, plucked, cooked, and ate a chicken all in one minute and 50 seconds. 




September 6, 2019
By Katherine Jolliff Dunn, collections processor

Born in New Orleans in 1931, Rolland Golden—who passed away in July 2019—spent much of his career as an artist drawing and painting Southern scenes. After serving in the Navy, Golden attended the John McCrady Art School from 1955 to 1957. Those years studying in the French Quarter began a lifelong love for the old buildings and charm of the Vieux Carré.




August 31, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

Daniel Hammer became president and CEO of The Historic New Orleans Collection on July 1, 2019. He is the organization’s seventh director and the first to have been raised in New Orleans—and, as such, the first to have made a profession out of rooting for the Saints.




August 20, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

If you’re walking down Bourbon Street on a sweltering August afternoon, you’re likely to be more concerned about the various substances puddling in the street than the infrastructure below it. But beneath the opaque streams clouded by last night’s mistakes, there are stories waiting to be told.




August 2, 2019
By Lydia Blackmore, decorative arts curator

Calvin Dayes made shoes fit for a king, but more importantly, he made shoes fit for those who most needed them. Regardless of the reason or the occasion for his specialty shoes, each finished piece featured a truly unique label: “By the JiveAss Shoemaker.”




July 29, 2019
By Heather M. Szafran, reference associate

In the summer of 1914, a Swedish sailor in New Orleans died, and an autopsy revealed the cause to be the bubonic plague, long thought to be confined to the other side of the Atlantic.




July 18, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

The road to the moon passed through Louisiana and Mississippi. See how these two Gulf Coast states helped launch astronauts into history. 




July 16, 2019
By Eric Seiferth, curator/historian

So much of New Orleans’s musical culture rests on its diversity, of styles, practitioners, and influences. The music of the African diaspora is a big part of this story.




June 28, 2019
By Katherine Jolliff Dunn, collections processor

The might of the Mississippi River has tested engineers for centuries. Few have approached its challenges more fearlessly than the self-taught James Buchanan Eads, who risked his career and even his life to exploit its potential.






 

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