I've written about French breeds on this blog previously -- use the Search function to have them presented together for you.
Houdans, one of the three old breeds (LaFleche and Crevecoeur are the others) were popular after the Civil War. They became significant in commercial poultry, as shown by the ads in this issue of the Poultry Item for December 1910. Houdans are competing with names now more familiar, such as Plymouth Rocks, White Leghorns and Wyandottes.
All three old breeds have the distinctive V comb, as illustrated here by Ross Simpson. I haven't heard from Ross for many years, so if any of you know where he is, please ask him to contact me. His art work is exceptional.