1897-O BARBER 50C MS66

Grading Service: PCGS
SKU: 122774
Cert Number: 36659707

“New Orleans has always done things a little differently.” This has been a well-known fact for the entirety of the eclectic city’s history. A prime example of its topsy-turvy techniques is the establishment of Storyville, its Red Light District, in 1897. By definition, a Red Light District is an area in a city or town where there is a concentrated population of sex businesses, frequent prostitution, and a hot spot for other illegal activities. Usually these areas just form by themselves as people with similar interests tend to flock together; this was not the case for New Orleans, however. In 1897 city councilman Sydney Story developed a code ordinance that would locate this district in a sixteen block radius within the city. This ordinance made prostitution “legal” in this area but absolutely outlawed it in all others. Technically prostitution was not legal in Storyville, but it was an area in which law would turn a blind eye to the illicit activities. Once it was established Story also published several bluebooks that outlined the services the district offered, as well as prices and in which houses they were offered. For years this remained the hotspot for all of the city’s illicit activities and allowed the city government to control and maintain them. It is even said that this small district is the birth-place for Jazz. While African-American men were banned from both white and black brothels, these same houses often hired bands, pianists, and singers to entertain their patrons. Furthermore, several now infamous Jazz artists graced the bordellos within Storyville; some even found their fame in the district. By 1917 a federal wartime ordinance had been issued to eradicate all sex business and prostitution near naval bases, because it often distracted the seamen. This ordinance ended the Storyville legacy and since then several buildings have been demolished in an attempt to give the city “a fresh start.” Regardless, the area remains a very popular attraction for travelers.

**Source: PCGS Price Guide. Although we try to be as accurate as possible on the listed population, third party pricing and coin information, information constantly changes. We suggest you verify all information.