SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Railroad Crossing: 1906

Railroad Crossing: 1906

The Mississippi River circa 1906. "Kansas City & Memphis Railway bridge at Memphis, Tennessee." Where you'll find the Mary Bell. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

The Mississippi River

At times during the spring, the width of the River can be over a mile.

There was a town just on the west side of Memphis in the 1800s that kept flooding that it just became uninhabitable.

During the hot summer days, we would go down to the river to catch a cool river breeze.

Re: Corner Head

It looks like a shantyboat. Cheaply built, non-powered houseboats for rivermen, lumbermen, millworkers. Usually made from whatever lumber could be found or scrounged. Shantyboat communities were common in river towns from the mid 19th to mid 20th centuries.

Corner Head

I'm wondering what sort of trade the Mary Bell was in. Is she a powered boat or a barge? A private houseboat or some sort of commercial floating market? What's the cupola for? The rectangular structure in the aft port corner looks to be the head (outhouse).

Middle bridge now

I have driven across the I-55 bridge next door to this one many times. The lower Mississippi River is over a mile wide in many locations. At this point it is 2400 feet from bank to bank. The three bridges at this crossing are all about a mile long each.

Solitary splendor

It's neat to see the bridge in solitary splendor. It was joined in 1917 by the Harahan railroad bridge 200 feet to the north, and in 1949 by the Memphis & Arkansas highway bridge about the same distance to the south. The three huge cantilever truss bridges make an impressive sight together, like a steampunk mountain range.

The scale of that!

That is a very beautiful photo, but what really caught my eye was the sheer size of the bridge, compared to the tiny barge and the even smaller boats moored next to it. It's amazing! How wide is that river? And how deep?

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.