Historical fiction research report 2

As research continues into New Orleans 1910, I begin to look for who the movers and shakers were, and what was happening in the Big Easy.

Through surfing websites on Domino’s sugar (I wanted to know whether it was cane or beet, and it’s cane still, most of it from Louisiana) I found the website of Edward Branley. He’s a NOLA (that’s New Orleans, Louisiana) teacher and author who has written books on the history. Through is site, I rabbit-holed to a master’s thesis on Albert Baldwin Wood. I read that he had created the drainage systems that carried away flood water and eventually sewage, and helped provide fresh water. It was because of him the city expanded. And during Hurricane Katrina, his pumps kept working, even when all the newer ones failed.

A. Baldwin Wood and others, 1915

According to Wikipedia, Wood began working for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans in 1899, and began patenting his inventions in 1913. So that means that in between he was inventing cool things. This picture is on Wikipedia. It says he’s in the center, but I don’t trust that necessarily, so I look up other pictures of him. That leads me to the Biloxi Historical Society

If you’ve read any of my Victorian mysteries, you know how much I love technology. Victrolas, stereoscopes, cool wagon parts. And sewage systems. The best sign of an advanced civilization is a good sewage system!

So now I have a sugar factory, a 9-year-old Louis Armstrong, and a hydraulics engineer.