Later in the day, car 696 eventually made its way to the foot of Canal Street, where it was engulfed by rioters. The top three views face roughly toward the river, with the ferry ramp at the left. Notice that even the ferry ramp is crowded with people. The rioters have hooked down both trolley poles, thus depriving the streetcar of power, and they tried to overturn the car. It stayed on its wheels, but then they doused it with gasoline and set it on fire. The little utility shed seen in these pictures was also burned. The crew had to be rescued by police. The last two photos, probably taken the next day, document the result. Ultimately, two men were killed on this day, and many more were injured by thrown paving stones. Three “Palace” cars were destroyed.
The third photo displays some hints about the lengths newspaper editors went to in those pre-computer days to enhance the photos they published. The original print shows where white ink has been carefully applied to outline the policeman and his horse, and to highlight the end windows of the burning streetcar. But most significantly, all the smoke we see billowing from the fire appears to have been applied to the photo; it even extends into the white margins of the print, and there are fingerprints in it. This does not necessarily mean that the depiction in the photo is inaccurate. Compare the other photos of the burning car, which as far as is known, were not so “enhanced.” — Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS, collection of the author (top picture); P & A Photos, collection of the author (second and fourth pictures); N. E. A., collection of the author (third picture); photos by John Tibula Mendes, courtesy The Historic New Orleans Collection 2003.0182.517 and 2003.0182.518 (last two pictures)
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