Edgar A. Perilloux (1895-1969), a New Orleans insurance executive, left behind his personal and business papers, which his wife donated to the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library in 1971. Although Mr. Perilloux was not widely famous, his papers provide enjoyable and surprising insight into the mid-twentieth century New Orleanian way of life.
The history of Carrollton was one of Mr. Perilloux’s special personal interests. The New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad, the forerunner of today’s St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, opened for business in 1835, connecting the city of New Orleans with the village of Carrollton. The town was incorporated by the state legislature in 1845, became a city in 1856, and was annexed into the City of New Orleans in 1874. Mr. Perilloux felt that the long history of his area was significant, and that it was important to retain its earlier name in common usage when referring to the area or neighborhood previously known as Carrollton, Louisiana, located in the “riverbend” section of New Orleans. As a leader of the Carrollton Business Men’s Association, he worked to organize the observation of the centennial, and authored Carrollton Centennial, 1845-1945, a book held in the Louisiana Research Collection (976.31 P444c). His notes, and drafts of his historical descriptions for the book are included in the archival collection, Edgar A. Perilloux papers (Manuscripts Collection 362), as are preliminary sketches for proposed advertisements he solicited from numerous local businesses for the commemorative publication. These drawings and mock-ups for advertisements are quite a bit more lively than the actual ads as they appeared in the book, which for the most part, are simple and plain.
The festivities celebrating the centennial included the unveiling of a monument erected in Palmer Park (at the corner of South Claiborne Avenue and South Carrollton Avenue), honoring the men and women of Carrollton who had so far served their country in World War II, as well as an evening banquet and dance at the Tulane Room of the Jung Hotel on Canal Street, featuring Johnny DeDroit’s Orchestra. Both events took place on Sunday, March 11, 1945.
Image captions: Top, preliminary sketch drawn on Regal Beer stationery, with ideas for an advertisement for the Round Table Restaurant, 8241 Oak St.; Bottom, the printed advertisement as it appeared on p. 53 of Carrollton Centennial, 1845-1945. (“Something to Crow About”)
Posted by Susanna Powers