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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

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Work Zone: 1906

Work Zone: 1906

Circa 1906. "Main Street. Memphis, Tennessee." Please pardon our dust. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Below is the same view (north from Union Avenue) from August of 2013.


Below, also from 1906, Salem, Mass. Where did Memphis (and other cities of the time) put their telephone poles & wires? Alleys, maybe?

Extreme Sports

A boy, roller skates and a small wooden ramp with two men looking interestingly on -- it's a small ramp, but the beginning of Xtreme sports we know today.

Loeb's Laundry

For almost 120 years now the Loeb family has owned and operated businesses in Memphis. Although the name stays the same the businesses have changed dramatically.

In 1887 Henry Loeb Sr. was in business making and selling both hats and shirts. Ladies taking delivery of the shirts often suggested that he launder the shirts as well as selling them. The market for shirt laundering was considerable and Henry Sr. found his business growing. By 1910 he was expanding his business into a 3 story cleaning plant on Madison Avenue. As this was two full blocks east of Main Street, Loeb's horse-drawn delivery service was welcomed by the community.

Hatless- outdoors!

This rollerskating kid had the nerve to remove his hat in public.

A Reminiscence

I cannot help but think of Faulkner's "The Reivers" whenever I see photos of Memphis from the early 1900s. I almost expect to see Boon, Lucius, and the Winton Flyer along the street somewhere.

I've got a brand new pair of roller skates

In front of the millinery store. I'm not sure what he has in his right hand, could this be a paddle-ball toy?

[It's his cap. - Dave]


Always enjoy your photos, especially those with boats in them. In this one I enjoyed seeing the kid roller skating down the ramp next to the millinery store. Then as now!

Peabody Hotel

The original Peabody Hotel built in 1869. Home of the Peabody Marching Ducks since 1932. There are now several locations which feature the ducks and their Duckmaster.

The Duckmaster resembles a circus ringmaster with top hat, tails and a cane or baton who leads the troupe (flock?) from the elevators to the Grand Fountain in the lobby to the accompaniment of a Sousa march playing on the lobby speakers.

Each morning at 11 they march in then spend the rest of the day in the fountain. They never wander away or shy away from tourists who gather to take photos with them. At 5:00 PM the show reverses and they march out to return to their rooftop garden quarters where they live a life of luxury.

You can Google search to find many videos of them. They have also appeared on several TV shows through the years.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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