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Angus Lind’s New Orleans

January 07, 2016 8:45 AM



No doubt when Edwin Ford in 1921 designed the Crescent Lid for the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, he could not have envisioned that the logo would one day be a big part of the New Orleans tourism industry and the resurgence of the city post-Katrina.
The founder of Ford Meter Box Co. in Wabash, Indiana, Ford invented and patented the meter box concept in 1898. His Crescent Lid design is now owned by the S&WB and has been reproduced on hundreds of different types of collectibles including doormats and paperweights.

The omnipresence of that S&WB symbol is, well, dumbfounding.

On July 11, 2015, that crescent moon with the stars and moonbeams appeared on second-line hankies that were handed to wedding guests as they exited the St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square to begin a second-line procession with a brass band to Latrobe’s at Conti and Royal streets.

Added to the design was the date of the wedding, the names Allison and Eric (the bride and groom) and “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler” (Let the good times roll). The couple lives in Dallas, where they met. She went to SMU after graduating from St. Scholastica Academy in Covington, Louisiana. The groom is from the Midwest, and many of his friends and family came here for a big destination wedding, as did North Shore guests.

The omnipresence of that S&WB symbol is, well, dumbfounding. A city that self-identifies with the symbol of the agency that strives to keep the sewers flowing and attempts to keep the water drinkable has to have a sense of humor and more than a tad of confidence. It’s no secret Orleanians have both.
Let’s hear it for the crumbling sewers, which give my friend, “Action Reporter” Bill Capo of WWL-TV, many opportunities to wear fishing boots or waders on the air.

To read the entire column, click here. This story originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Tulane magazine. Illustration by Mark Andresen.