During his long tenure as Mayor of New Orleans, Martin Behrman
published at least two "brag books." The
first, Behrman Administration of the Municipality of New Orleans, was published ca. 1912; the second, Martin Behrman Administration Biography, 1904-1916
in 1916, at the beginning of the Mayor's fourth term. The volumes document progress in
the city during his term in office and also celebrate the accomplishments of individual businessmen or
companies that had, presumably, proved themselves to be loyal supporters of the Behrman machine.
If these volumes are to be believed, New Orleans had not a problem in the world during the Behrman era.
The language in both books tends
to be a little over-the-top, to put it mildly, as this excerpt from the 1916 publication illustrates:
Against a background of well-authenticated facts, is reflected the
remarkable record of Mayor Behrman as a public official--his comprehensive knowledge of every detail of
the system of government he has been chosen to administer; his appreciation of what is essential to the
development of a great city, his splendid initiative and constructive energy and the conspicuous part he has
taken, personally and officially, in the activities which have brought about the evolution of an old city from
mire and flood and pestilence, to a splendid modern metropolis, possessing every comfort, every
convenience and every attraction of the most advanced community.
But if you take the rhetoric with a few grains of salt, these books are remarkable records of New Orleans in
the early years of the twentieth century, due not least to the photographs that illustrate each. We present a
few of the photographs
here in this month's
Click on the images (above and below) to see a larger version of each.
And click HERE to revisit earlier Images of the Month