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Lucky Electric Supply Incorporated

In Downtown by Khara WoodsLeave a Comment

Lucky Electric Supply’s (LES) hand-painted sign, with its scale, script and sans-serif type, truly stands out from the rest. There are at least three hand-painted signs: one facing GE Patterson Avenue (south side) and one on the east and west sides. The behemoth ghost sign, on the building’s east side, takes up a good chunk of the building’s facade and appears to …

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Memphis Street History: Sam Cooper Boulevard

In East Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson13 Comments

Like many Memphians, I log a lot of miles on Sam Cooper Boulevard, the stretch of I-40 between East Parkway and the junction with I-240. I’ve always wondered about the man behind the name. If you have, too, prepare to be impressed by his life and legacy. Sam Cooper grew up in the Pinch District of Memphis, the son of …

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Remembering Bill Womack

In Downtown, Guest Posts, Midtown by Art Hullender6 Comments

Today we have a guest post by Art Hullender. It is a wonderful tribute to Bill Womack, whose design has left a lasting mark on Memphis. I’m pretty sure it was a late fall in 2002. I didn’t know at the time that this would be the last time I would ever see Bill Womack. He was in line in …

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Faux Retro: Park Cosmorama

In East Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson1 Comment

When you pull into the parking lot of the Park Cosmorama strip mall, you might assume the large sign greeting you is from the era of The Jetsons. But, surprisingly, the Park Cosmorama sign isn’t a relic – it was installed at the turn of this century. Built sometime in the 1950s, this strip mall on Park between Mendenhall and …

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The Remnants of an 80’s Kid’s Summer Avenue

In East Memphis by Samantha Hegenheiser-Finley25 Comments

I’m honored to write my first contributor’s post for Memphis Type History. I’m especially excited to delve into my own past and to, in a way, write this post from the perspective of an elementary school-aged version of myself. My memories of being out and about as a child almost solely consist of being on or around Summer Avenue – nearly always …

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Normal Station

In East Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson7 Comments

The East Memphis neighborhood known as Normal Station is bordered by Southern Avenue, Park Avenue, Highland, and Goodlett. It’s one of Memphis’s most historically aware communities, so proud of its heritage that it even has its own wiki! For the non-residents, here’s a little background about the origins of The University of Memphis’s backyard. Beginning in the late 1800s, teachers’ …

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Electrical Workers Union Neon Sign

In Midtown by Khara Woods1 Comment

Shares Henry Miller, founder and first president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union, worked on high voltage lines as a lineman for the Potomac Light and Power Company in Washington D.C. That is, until one day he suffered a tragic accident while restoring power to a neighborhood after a storm. Glenn Greenwell, president of Memphis’ local IBEW chapter, …

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Film Row

In Downtown by Alyssa Long3 Comments

  Did you know Memphis played a major role during the Golden Age of Hollywood? I am sure many can think of a popular movie that was filmed here, however, Memphis’ history with motion pictures goes way back. In the 1930s and 1940s, movie theater programming changed several times each week. The California-based motion picture studios needed a way to …

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The Sterick: “The Most Fabulous Building in Memphis”

In Downtown by Rebecca Phillips13 Comments

Photograph by Khara Woods What is the fate of the Sterick building? A renovated office building, a giant karaoke bar, trivia night theaters with a beer garden and hot tubs, and maybe a science research center with pretty telescopes. No.. we can’t answer that for you, but we can tell you a little about its past. Memphis and Shelby County …

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Memphis Street History: Winchester Road

In South Memphis by Brenda Wilkerson11 Comments

  While driving around Memphis, have you ever wondered how our major streets got their names? As it turns out, the best place to start is in south Memphis. Winchester Road, which stretches across the south end of town from Third Street downtown to Byhalia Road in Collierville, is probably best known for the section that cuts under a runway …