A collection of historically significant images acquired from the Pink Palace Museum in 1976, the Pink Palace Collection features a wide variety of wonderful photographs. From the construction of the Harahan Bridge to portraits of Native Americans, there is a little bit of everything. We owe our deepest gratitude to volunteer Becky Muska, who worked so diligently to digitize this collection in its entirety and to solve some of the mysteries contained within it.
Becky has been kind enough to identify a few of the more common themes in this collection for us:
The Mayor Family - Becky discovered that 665 of the unmarked photos were actually from the same family. Using clues in the photographs themselves, she was able to piece together the story of the Mayor Family. Read more about the family on our blog.
Downtown Memphis - Buildings, streets, parades, firefighters fighting fire and even a few aerial shots thrown in for good measure. Images range from the late-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth.
Bridges - Lots of shots of the bridges in and around Memphis, but most significant are the images of the construction of the Harahan Bridge in the 1910s.
Native Americans - Almost exclusively portraiture. Young and old, male and female, solo and in small groups.
Ships - Most of the images in this group are illustrations or models of European ships from the 14th through 18th centuries. A few modern warships are included as well.
Military - Images from the 19th and 20th centuries, with many unidentified locations and groups. Also included are many images related to the Confederacy.
Piggly Wiggly - Included are photographs of the standard furniture pieces which were present in many of the original grocery stores.
Baseball - Portraits of players and teams from high school, club and professional leagues, along with a few images of early parks in Memphis.
Tri-State Fair - Images from the Fairgrounds during the first years of the 20th century.
Airplanes & Aviation - Early images of airplanes, aviators and a few plane crashes. Also check out the images captured from those planes.