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Research Department Works Overtime

(reprint from “The Mississippi Gambler” campaign booklet)

Are there enough waves in the Mississippi River to rock a steamboat? What were the length of cigars smoked by New Orleans dandies in the 1850’s? What kind of uniforms, if any, were worn by lamp lighters in the same period?

Those questions, and hundreds more like them, were tossed at the Universal-International Research Department during the filming of the Technicolor “The Mississippi Gambler”, starring Tyrone Power, Piper Laurie, and Julia Adams.

The research staff revealed that Mississippi steamboats do not rock, although they often display a shimmying motion due to the vibrations of the engines. Fashionable gents in New Orleans smoked cigars approximately five inches long just prior to the Civil War. And lamp lighters wore no uniforms, but plied their trade in top hats and ordinary street clothes.

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