The Sugar Bowl Name and Cup
The “Sugar Bowl,” a solid silver trophy was made in London in the year 1830 during the reign of King George IV and bears the hall mark of the period.
The gift of this genuine antique to the New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association was made by the Waldhorn Company, Inc. [an antique shop which was located at 343 Royal Street in 1935 and remains there to this day].
The National Sugar Bowl
The idea of a college football bowl game was first proposed by Colonel James M. Thomson, the publisher of the New Orleans Item, and his sports editor Fred Digby in 1927.
Every fall thereafter Digby called for action, outlined a mid-winter calendar of sports, and even gave the still dream game its name – “Sugar Bowl.”
In the 1920s, Louisiana was the nation’s leader in producing sugar – in fact no other state produced the product. However, Louisiana’s sugar industry nearly collapsed in 1926 due to crop diseases cutting sugar cane production by two-thirds. New varieties of sugar cane allowed the industry to recover and allow the state to maintain its status as a critical supplier to the entire country – sugar was the leading industry in the state once again as Digby’s efforts finally paid off with the first Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1935.
In addition to the state’s role in producing sugar for the nation, there is also significant history with sugar production in New Orleans.
The process of crystallizing sugar cane into granules had never been successful in the United States until Étienne de Boré accomplished the feat in New Orleans in 1795. That successful crystallization happened in the area that now makes up Audubon Park – and also included the site of Tulane University and the original Sugar Bowl Stadium.
[NOTE: de Boré would go on to become the first Mayor of New Orleans in 1803. He is buried in Saint Louis Cemetery #1.]
Louisiana remains a sugar production leader in the country, trailing only Florida.