Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Robert L. Dupont

Second Advisor

James Mokhiber



New Orleans in 1900 was an endangered city clinging to a narrow strip of relatively high ground along the lower Mississippi river. Frequent flooding occurred from the river in the spring and from the lake in the June to October hurricane season. No reliable source of drinking water and no systems for removal of sewerage and rain water existed. Disease mortality was very high especially from frequent outbreaks of yellow fever.

The fortuitous appearance of new alternating current (AC) technologies, emerging engineering specialties, and a more progressive form of governance willing to support and finance large scale engineering projects gave New Orleans world class drainage, sewerage and potable water systems. With electric streetcars providing service to newly drained areas and greatly reduced disease mortality, New Orleans entered the twentieth century transformed into a safe and expanding city.

Key Words: Electricity, New Orleans, Infrastructure


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