Wilson S. Howell's (1855-1943) diaries, collected in the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Research Center in Dearborn Michigan, tell the story of Howell's life as a traveling inspector of electrical generating stations in the early 1890s. During his stint in this line of work, Howell began to develop a love for photography. His hobby left a record of the people and places of late nineteenth century New Orleans.
The collection consists of forty-four prints, though some are repeated images. The subjects in the first volume include New Orleans following the March 1891 flooding at the Ames Crevasse, residential buildings and plantation houses, the streets of New Orleans, ships, and other scenes of city life. The second volume includes photographs of African-American citizens of New Orleans.
The prints/negatives were scanned (by Louisiana Division intern Julia Irwin) as grayscale images at 500 dpi on a Hewlett Packard ScanJet ADF scanner and saved as 600 pixel TIFFs using Photoshop 5.0. The TIFFs are being retained as archival masters. Photoshop was also used to produce edited 600 pixel JPEGs and the 150 pixel JPEG thumbnails displayed below.
Most of the captions used are those written on the reverse of the mountings for the prints. Additional information on some photographs is included in brackets.