Tuesday, September 29, 2015

100 Years Ago

100 years ago today, New Orleans was hammered by high winds , tides and copious rainfall. The storm hit the Crescent City the evening of September 28th. By the next morning winds had increased to 40 mph and by the early evening , there were reports of sustained wind velocities at 80 mph and gusts of 120-130 mph. The minimum barometer reading registered at 28.11 inches.

The Southeastern Architectural Archive has been in the process of digitizing a number of glass plate negatives that document the hurricane's aftermath. The images are most likely the work of photographer John Norris Teunisson (1869-1959).  The plates were once acquired by New Orleans architect Richard Koch. Stored in large wooden boxes, some were broken, all were in deteriorated condition.

Zachary Wubben, a Tulane undergraduate working on the project, is currently developing metadata for the images, as most were unidentified or partially identified.  The SEAA plans to launch a new digital collection featuring the images in the near future.

If you want to read more about the hurricane from a contemporary source, consult Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans General Superintendent George G. Earl's October 14 1915 report here, made available by the University of Chicago.

Images above:  John N. Teunisson, attributed. 1915 Hurricane, New Orleans, LA.  1915. Digital surrogates from glass negatives created 2015. Richard Koch Photographs and Papers, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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