National Geographic : 1947 Dec
This Is One of Many Shrimp-drying Platforms Which Have Been Built on Piles over Mud Bars Around Barataria Bay Louisiana shrimp form the basis of one of America's most interesting sea-food trades. Here the smaller shrimp are boiled in brine and then dried in the sun, for shipment to Oriental consumers. In the frame houses about the platforms lives a strange, polyglot crew of shrimp-working Cajuns, Chinese, and Filipinos. French cooks of New Orleans are famous for their shrimp dishes. Other components are piped to plants making rubber, ether, ethylene, and alcohols. In history's most shattering war this re finery was one of the largest suppliers of aviation gasoline to Uncle Sam and his allies. Other huge factories grown up beside it in clude Solvay Process Company, Ethyl Cor poration, Permanente Metals Corporation, General Chemical Company, Consolidated Chemical Industries, Inc., Copolymer Cor poration, and the huge power plant of Gulf States Utilities Company. From here, again, Louisiana products flow out by rail, barge, and ocean steamer into the vortex of world trade. Scientists Saved This Sugar Bowl From the sky-tickling top of the State Capitol tower in Baton Rouge you look west, across Old Man River, to see cane fields and tall smokestacks of sugar mills. This "Louisiana Sugar Bowl" is a lovely land of sunshine, peaceful bayous, fine old homes, and the white cottages of French speaking field workers set among oaks bearded with Spanish moss. Iberville, in 1700, planted sugar cane in what is now New Orleans, and here man first learned to make granulated sugar. At one time sugar making was the State's richest in dustry. It earned fortunes for leisure-loving, high-living planters of that golden age. A few decades ago, cane disease laid the planters low; many mills closed. Then plant pathologists rescued the industry. They brought in vigorous disease-resisting kinds of cane. Now sugar men are happy again, with a crop worth $44,000,000 in 1946. On the Mississippi I saw barges loaded with what looked like heaps of gold dust. It was sulphur, which helps make this Gulf coast a world source of heavy chemicals.