Find of the Week: Iconic New Orleans photos and the photographer who captured them

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NEW ORLEANS -- News with a Twist has teamed up with the Historic New Orleans Collection to bring you a unique find each week from the museum's vaults.

Did you know that the first digital camera had a quality of 1.4 megapixels? And a price tag of $10,000?

We've certainly come a long way in photography. Today, we take you back to a world when amateur photography was new.

The year was 1888. A bank clerk in Rochester, New York, invented the first Kodak camera -- a milestone for the amateur photographer. The slogan was, "You press the button. We do the rest."

"You would load the film and then send it off, and you didn't have to deal with all the chemistry that goes along with that," explained Mallory Taylor, associate curator for the Historic New Orleans Collection.

As popularity spread across the country, it made its way down to the Victorian age of New Orleans.

This remarkable photo album -- now a piece at the HNOC -- includes about 300 gelatin silver prints, the most common type of black and white consumer print during the 20th Century.

So, what might a novice photographer take pictures of between 1908 and 1915 in New Orleans?

"It highlights daily life in New Orleans and it has some really monumental highlights from New Orleans history," Taylor said. "There's the hurricane of 1915.  There's our earliest photo of Mardi Gras Indians."

But who's the man behind the lens? He's George Durr.

Durr was born in New Orleans in 1888. Among the intriguing photographs in Durr's collection was a picture of his father-in-law's business, Odenwald&Gros -- a cigar, soda and ice cream shop on Canal Street.

Other photos of his include the Rex parade of 1915, the same year Zulu rolled for the first time.

You can see all the Historic New Orleans Collection has to offer by visiting either one of their campuses. The Royal Street campus, including The Shop at The Collection, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Chartres Street campus, including the Williams Research Center and Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Learn more about the Historic New Orleans Collection here.

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