Oyster Luggers
Vintage Photos
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Oyster luggers in the turning basin of the Old Basin Canal (Carondelet Canal), about 1900
Above & below, oyster luggers lined up at Mississippi River wharf, about 1900
Early French settlers designed small boats that would easily navigate the waters
between ships and in Louisiana's swamps.  These boats were called French canots;
they had a rounded bottom and a small fin that allowed them to go in shallow water.  
They became popular fishing boats and then oyster boats.  These canots eventually
became known everywhere as New Orleans Oyster Luggers.

For many years now, the state of Louisiana has produced over 40% of the oysters
sold in the United States.  The Gulf of Mexico's oyster industry was hit hard by BP's
oil spill in 2010, the largest marine oil spill in the history of the nation, and is now in
the process of recovering.
Unloading oysters from packet boat, early 1900's.
Louisiana oystermen developed oyster tongs like
the ones above to scoop up oysters while they
were standing in their boats.  Photo is ca. 1930.
Collecting oysters, probably at Grand Isle, LA, early 1900's.
Young boys in New Orleans working as
oyster shuckers, ca. 1913.
Stack of oyster shells, probably Lafourche Parish, LA, early 1900's;
shells were sold to be used in building materials.
Oyster platform at Bayou Bruleau; once a settlement, at this time, used only by oystermen, 1906.
Oyster canning factory, Golden
Meadow, LA, about 1940.
Oyster delivery, French Quarter, 1960.
In the early 1900's, whole families worked at the
canning factories; above, sisters, ages 5 & 3,
work at the Barataria canning factory, 1911.