National Geographic : 1947 Dec
Crooked as the Orinoco Delta, the Calcasieu River Cuts Odd Forest Patterns Around Busy Lake Charles In the background lies the business district of the city of Lake Charles. A busy ship channel, dug south, ties this industrial center to the Gulf. Once one of America's leading sawmill centers, Lake Charles now is a site of oil, gas, chemical, and other industries and enjoys heavy sea trade. Scores of vessels tied to the riverbank are Navy landing craft of World War II; many are being sold for use in Latin America, in Gulf trade, or on the Intracoastal Waterway (page 712). Use of sulphur is old; 2,000 years before Christ it went to bleach linen; with its aid Chinese invented gunpowder. At Grande Ecaille, downriver from New Orleans, Free port Sulphur Company mines 2,400 tons a day. Its "mines" are deep holes, like oil wells. Down into them, through concentric pipes, hot water and compressed air are forced, and up comes molten sulphur to work at 32,000 dif ferent kinds of jobs (Plate X).* Airplanes Thick as Pelicans Airplanes make for New Orleans like homing pigeons. One maid of honor at a Mardi Gras ball was a Mexican lass from Yucatan. She flew up here, crown, golden slippers, and all, to enjoy the American dance. Latin Americans often fly to New Orleans * See "How We Use the Gulf of Mexico," by Frederick Simpich, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, January, 1944. to shop. Many a trousseau is bought in Canal Street and flown back next day for a wedding in Mexico, Guatemala, or Panama. Moisant International Airport is only a few minutes' ride from Canal Street, Champs Elysees of New Orleans, where perfume-shop salesmen squirt costly scents on the pavement so their fragrance will attract customers. Air service lifts travel horizons for people in the Mississippi Basin. It's only a few hours' flight from here to Central American countries. Peru, Chile, and Argentina like wise are linked to New Orleans via Pan American and Pan American-Grace Airways, with 20- to 30-hour service. Air freight and express grow fast. A Noah's Ark that Flies A cow jumped over the moon in Mother Goose. Horses fly in Louisiana, in an aerial Noah's Ark.