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Memphis has been described as both “the Metropolis of the
American Nile” and “a small town with a whole lot of people in it.” This volume of vintage photographs captures the unique mix of urban culture and rural roots in a community where great bridges and modern buildings tower within sight of cotton plantations.
In some 200 historic photographs accompanied by insightful captions, Memphis traces the development of this truly American city.
From the age of steamboats that carried cotton, lumber, and industrial products throughout the Mississippi River Valley to modern networks of railroads and highways, Memphis’ location on the Fourth Chickasaw
Bluff has made the city a natural transportation and distribution center.
In spite of the devastating yellow fever epidemics of the 1870s and the disastrous floods of the twentieth century, the commercial and cultural life of Memphis has flourished. Action scenes of urban life depict the busy streets, fine buildings, beautiful parks, and thriving commerce of pre-World War II Memphis. Within these pages, the city’s heritage and diversity are reflected in a variety of photographic essays,
including the annual Mid-South Fair and Historic Beale Street.
About the Author
Author John Dougan, Assistant Archivist at the Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center, has compiled a rich compendium of Memphis history using the extensive photograph collection of the Library’s History Department. His tribute to Memphis represents one of the most interesting visual records of the city’s people and places available in book form.