Old Images of Memphis, Tennessee: Historic Photos & Film

Categorised as Tennessee
Old photo of the riverfront at Memphis, Tenneessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th century
Old photo of the riverfront at Memphis, Tenneessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th century. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Glimpse history through fascinating old images of Memphis, Tennessee.

Old photo of the Levee at Memphis, Tennesse, taken in 1864
Old photo of the Levee at Memphis, Tennesse, taken in 1864. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Old photo of the Levee at Memphis, Tennesse, taken in 1891
Old photo of the Levee at Memphis, Tennesse, taken in 1891. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Old photo of the C. B. Bryan(t?) ship at Memphis, Tennessee
Old photo of the C. B. Bryan(t?) ship at Memphis, Tennessee. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
An old photo of the home of R.R. Church at Memphis, Tennessee
An old photo of the home of R.R. Church at Memphis, Tennessee, which was reportedly displayed as part of the “American Negro” exhibit at the Paris Exposition of 1900. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Old photo of Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee, seen looking north from Gayoso Avenue, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century
Old photo of Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee, seen looking north from Gayoso Avenue, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company at the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Closeup of an old photo of Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee, seen looking north from Gayoso Avenue, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century
Closeup of an old photo of Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee, seen looking north from Gayoso Avenue, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company at the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Closeup of an old photo of Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee, seen looking north from Gayoso Avenue, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century
Closeup of an old photo of Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee, seen looking north from Gayoso Avenue, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century. From the archives of the Detroit Publishing Company at the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Old photo of men unloading cotton at Memphis, Tennessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century.
Old photo of men unloading cotton at Memphis, Tennessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Closeup of an old photo of men unloading cotton at Memphis, Tennessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century
Closeup of an old photo of men unloading cotton at Memphis, Tennessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Closeup of an old photo of men unloading cotton at Memphis, Tennessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century
Closeup of an old photo of men unloading cotton at Memphis, Tennessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.
Old photo of Overton Park at Memphis, Tennessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century
Old photo of Overton Park at Memphis, Tennessee, probably taken in the early years of the 20th Century. From the archives of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Rubber Face 1933

This comedy newsreel, featuring the facial expressions of a man with about two teeth, begins by showing him in his day job.

Wearing a sandwich board, he walks along a busy street, advertising the 5c tap beer and 25c hot plate lunch available at the Annex Lunch room, under new management, where ladies were also welcome and sandwiches of all kinds were available.

Unfortunately, we aren’t even told what his name is!

Rubber Face! (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube

Cotton Carnival 1935

America was suffering a cotton crisis during the economic turmoil of the 1930s, but the Cotton Carnival of 1935 was still a spectacular, providing a week of entertainment by day and by night.

USA: Memphis cotton carnival (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube

Cotton Carnival 1961

Fireworks lit up the sky for the launch of the 1961 Cotton Carnival, lasting five nights and four days.

Center stage was a float which cost $25,000 to make.

Memphis ‘cotton Carnival’ (1961) – British Pathé on YouTube

1960s Police Car

Although much of the footage in this recording was made from the inside of a police car, with the officers dominating the view, there is plenty to see as they drive through South Third Street, East Gage Avenue, and South Main Street in the mid 1960s.

Memphis, TN 1960’s – LastTraintoMemphis on YouTube

Filmed from the roof of a police car driving near or on Summer Avenue and National Street in the mid 1960s, this footage has been restored to a very high standard.

Memphis Streets mid 1960’s – LastTraintoMemphis on YouTube

Memphis in 1980

Otto Wolf was a Swiss tourist who recorded his trip to the streets and landmarks of Memphis, Tennessee in 1980, including Gracelands.

Memphis 1980 archive footage – Footageforpro.com on YouTube

Memphis in 1988

Quite a variety of people and places appear in this series of 1988 silent film clips, which were used for a UK ThamesTV broadcast on 23 January, 1989.

Memphis – Tennessee – USA – 1980’s – ThamesTv on YouTube

Bygone Memphis

Step back to a time when horses and carts rumbled down Madison Avenue, and men unloaded round bales of cotton from steam boats on the river.

Each of these old photos of Memphis, taken between 1905 and 1910, has been labelled clearly so you always know the location and year you are looking at.

Old photos of Memphis(Tennessee)1905-1910 – oldstuff4all on YouTube

More Places in Tennessee