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The Industrial Canal and Inner Harbor of New Orleans History, Description and Economic Aspects of Giant Facility Created to Encourage Industrial Expansion and Develop Commerce   By:

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[Illustration: WILLIAM O. HUDSON President, Board of Commissioners of Port of New Orleans]

FOREWORD.

Oh the mind of man! Frail, untrustworthy, perishable yet able to stand unlimited agony, cope with the greatest forces of Nature and build against a thousand years. Passion can blind it yet it can read in infinity the difference between right and wrong. Alcohol can unsettle it yet it can create a poem or a harmony or a philosophy that is immortal. A flower pot falling out of a window can destroy it yet it can move mountains.

If Man had a tool that was as frail as his mind, he would fear to use it. He would not trust himself on a plank so liable to crack. He would not venture into a boat so liable to go to pieces. He would not drive a tack with a hammer, the head of which is so liable to fly off.

But Man knows that what the mind can conceive, that can he execute. So Man sits in his room and plans the things the world thought impossible. From the known he dares the unknown. He covers paper with figures, conjures forth a blue print, and sends an army of workmen against the forces of Nature. If his mind blundered, he would waste millions in money and perhaps destroy thousands of lives. But Man can trust his mind; fragile though it is, he knows it can bear the strain of any task put upon it.

All over the world there is the proof: in the heavens above, and in the waters under the earth. And nowhere has Man won a greater triumph over unspeakable odds than in New Orleans, in the dredging of a canal through buried forests 18,000 years old, the creation of an underground river, and the building of a lock that was thought impossible.

The Industrial Canal and Inner Harbor of New Orleans

History, Description and Economic Aspects of Giant Facility Created to Encourage Industrial Expansion and Develop Commerce

By Thomas Ewing Dabney

Published by Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans Second Port U. S. A. May, 1921

(Copyright, 1921, by Thomas Ewing Dabney).

CONTENTS

FOREWORD 2

THE NEED RECOGNIZED FOR A CENTURY 5

NEW ORLEANS DECIDES TO BUILD CANAL 8

SMALL CANAL FIRST PLANNED 13

THE DIRT BEGINS TO FLY 17

CANAL PLANS EXPANDED 22

DIGGING THE DITCH 27

OVERWHELMING ENDORSEMENT BY NEW ORLEANS 31

SIPHON AND BRIDGES 36

THE REMARKABLE LOCK 40

NEW CHANNEL TO THE GULF 48

WHY GOVERNMENT SHOULD OPERATE CANAL 54

ECONOMIC ASPECT OF CANAL 60

CONSTRUCTION COSTS AND CONTRACTORS 66

OTHER PORT FACILITIES 70

COMPARISON OF DISTANCES BETWEEN NEW ORLEANS AND THE PRINCIPAL CITIES AND PORTS OF THE WORLD 78

THE NEED RECOGNIZED FOR A CENTURY.

There is a map in the possession of T. P. Thompson of New Orleans, who has a notable collection of books and documents on the early history of this city, dated March 1, 1827, and drawn by Captain W. T. Poussin, topographical engineer, showing the route of a proposed canal to connect the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, curiously near the site finally chosen for that great enterprise nearly a hundred years later.

New Orleans then was a mere huddle of buildings around Jackson Square; but with the purchase of the Louisiana territory from France, and the great influx of American enterprise that characterized the first quarter of the last century, development was working like yeast, and it was foreseen that New Orleans' future depended largely upon connecting the two waterways mentioned the river, that drains the commerce of the Mississippi Valley, at our front door, and the lake, with its short cut to the sea and the commerce of the world, at the back... Continue reading book >>




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