One lantern slide view and four postcard views up St. Charles Street, with the photographer standing at Canal looking toward the “new” St. Charles Hotel. The first view is seen in both formats, a lantern slide from the firm of Unger & Hoffmann in Dresden, Germany, and a postcard postmarked 1908 from the Detroit Photographic Co. It shows a downbound Coliseum or Henry Clay car approaching Canal Street. The second view gives us a good look at the ornate ironwork on the building at the right. In the third view, a double-truck car, probably a Brill semiconvertible on the Coliseum line, is downbound toward Canal Street. The bottom picture, dated 1904, shows how well the wheel gauge of a typical New Orleans wagon matched the 5' 2½" gauge of the streetcar track. It is often said that the odd measure of standard track gauge, 4' 8½", was dictated by the wheel gauge of horse-drawn wagons, but this picture shows that in New Orleans, with predominantly a wider streetcar gauge of 5' 2½", wagons were built to that gauge. It was undoubtedly a smoother ride when a teamster could put his wagon in the grooves of the rails, but it drove streetcar motormen mad! — Lantern slide by Unger & Hoffmann (Series XXVIII, No. 1); postcards by Detroit Photographic Co. (top), C. T. American Art (second), Hugh C. Leighton Co. (third), Rotograph Co. (bottom)
This was the third St. Charles Hotel to occupy this site. Its two predecessors each burned down. This building was erected in 1896, and served until it was demolished in 1974.
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