Topical podcasts featured here are excerpts from oral histories collected by Louisiana Sea Grant. The full interviews – audio recordings as well as transcripts – can be found here.
Seafood is a major export from Louisiana. In this anecdote, Louis Blum Jr., whose grandfather began a shrimp drying business, elaborates on the global reach of Louisiana’s seafood industry.
Clip 1 (Oysters move south) : Dr. Chris Cenac’s family was one of the first to help spur the creation of the oyster industry in Louisiana. Before the early part of the 20 th century, the oysters were harvested primarily along the east coast. In this clip, Dr. Cenac explains how the industry moved south as a result of overfishing in the Atlantic and what role the hot dog played in creating demand for Louisiana oysters.
Clip 2 (Houma) : In this accounting, Dr. Chris Cenac charts the growth of Houma as the oyster industry creates a boom that transforms the community, tripling the population in only 20 years.
Until the early part of the 20th century, oil and gas exploration was not as vital to the economy of Louisiana as it now. In this clip, Clifford Smith speaks of how an abundance of cheap land initially intended for agricultural purposes eventually led to the development of the oil and gas industry, and the success of Louisiana Land and Exploration Company as well as Texaco, all thanks to a hunch from a Swedish geophysicist.