George Whitworth Collection

            ... Memphis History and Memorabilia


George Whitworth is a Memphis attorney and dedicated collector who has practiced law since 1963.  His passion for history and collecting began when he was 12 years old after receiving an autographed photo of Alben Barkley, 35th Vice President of the U.S.  His family was also big on collecting - his Dad collected coins, his sister collected western art and artifacts, his Mother collected antiques, photos, etc.  Now, as he begins to think about "retirement" he still says his passion is for Memphis History, rare books, cappuccino, and football.  He has amassed an amazing collection of vintage photos, books, and memorabilia related to early Memphis.   Most of the collection has not been seen by the public - until now.   We are pleased that George has chosen to show selections from his collection on the website. 

  George Whitworth  

George Whitworth may be reached at 901-486-6436 or by email:


Click on the small photos to see full screen photos.



2015 Calendar

This 32 page calendar features a selection of previously unpublished photos of Historical Memphis from the George Whitworth collection. 
The Calendar may be freely downloaded for personal use.  Click on the small photo on the right,  to go to the 2015 calendar page.


2014 Calendar:  Downloads of the 28 page George Whitworth 2014 calendar are also available.   The Calendar may be freely downloaded for personal use.  Click on the small photo on the right,  to go to the page.  >


This article about George Whitworth appeared in
Memphis R.S.V.P Magazine.  >


 This article  appeared in the Memphis Press Scimitar,  June 27, 1979.  >


 This article  appeared in the Memphis Commercial Appeal,  August 22, 2121.  >




Rare Stereoscopic slides of early Memphis  

The first period of stereo photography began in 1851, shortly after the invention of the stereo camera.  Most stereoscopic methods involved two offset images which could be viewed separately.  When these two images were seen through a "viewer" they were combined in the brain, and then seen as one image with the perception of 3-D depth.


Main Street 1870 Memphis Street View 1870

Memphis Main Street Memphis Main Street with snow

1870s Beale Street

1891 Memphis Madison Avenue


1900s Snow-Court Square

Frozen Mississippi River


Roosevelt arrives Memphis 1907

Memphis Cobblestone Landing


More Stereoscopic slides of early Memphis 
The following group of photos are all stereoscopic slides - like the six stereoscopic photos above, but they are posted below as single-frame photos.  - Selections from the George Whitworth Collection


Roosevelt - 1907       

Grandstand 1904 1904 -Vanderbuilt Gayoso Room        The Great Bridge

"Home Life" 1899 King Cotton Elmwood Raleigh Springs Raleigh Springs

Unloading Cotton Wolf River Soldiers Cemetery Great Bridge        Stock Farm

Steamboat Steamboat Up river Thompson Dean         Memphis Landing

Vintage Photographs and Photo Cards

Thousands of photos are tossed out, lost, or forgotten every year.  So much history is right there in these vintage photos.  No description says it better.  We have benefited greatly  from the Collectors who have rescued these old "worthless" photos from the attics or the trash bins.  Although many are undated, it's often possible to date them based on objects or "something" in the background.
 - Selections from the George Whitworth Collection


 1924 Peabody under Construction

Grocery Kyle-Lamar

Softball Champs -1954

The Speedway


Sunken Gardens - Overton           

Sunken Gardens - Overton

Sears-Goldsmith truck

1912 Main-Madison


Vintage Mule Trolley       1909 Trolley- Cart 1909 Trolley - Pedestrian 1940s Peabody

Union Station

Deep Water 1907

Views 1907

Loeb's Delivery

Court Square - Winter      


Gillis Bros - Beale      

Beale Market 1907

Bowers Store No 27

Silver Moon Restaurant

Tony's Saloon - Beale St      C.C. Playground 1936 City Hospital City Hospital
St. Joseph's Hospital       Country Club 1906 Forrest Park - 1907 Higbee School 1907

Hotel Queen Anne Lennox Broom Co 1910
Porter Macon-Andrews
    Macon-Andrews Business
Medical College 1906      University School 1907 S.C. Toof Brochure Masonic Temple 1909

Shelby Court House
Courtsquare 1918 Porter 1906
Nelson Business College Fire Equipment 1936

University Club     

Arlington High 1925 Cobblestone Landing

       Conf. Park Esplanade


Court House Construction

Memphis Press Bldg.

Clifford Poland

John Pelegrin's Store


Beale Market c. 1940s Customs House Otto Zahn Postcard - front and back

Irving Block Prison 1864

Howe Institute 1892 Coovert-Civil War Cannon Cannon in Park

Memphis High School 1908 Marcus Winchester Winchester Winchester Cemetery

Cordova Hotel


Union Station 4 Men on Corner 4 Men on Corner UT Doctors Team 1922

Henry Thisfeld 1873    


Hunt-Phelan 1963 Hunt-Phelan 1863 Porter Bldg East End Park East End Park

S. C. Toof Bldg on 2nd

S. C. Toof in Office

S. C. Toof Employees

 Toof Employees-names


Prince Mongo 1961

Snow - Riverboats

Kelly -Kathryn Kelly Wanted Poster

1916 Park Comm Article


1943 Sacred Heart Class

Church, Handy, Lee

B. F. Booth

J. T. Settle

G. P. Hamilton

Mrs Hamilton

Suffrage article Rescue Home Marine Hospital Fogleman Family Album

Fogleman Family Album

Memphis Flood 1912 Memphis Flood 1912 Memphis Flood 1912 Flood, Marion AR

George Whitworth recently discovered an old pamphlet with photos taken around Memphis during the flood of 1912.  Many of these photos (below) are quite rare.

1912: Exchange-4th

1912:  Moving 1912:  Industrial

1912:  2nd-Look north

1912:  Wait for boat

1912:  TN Brewery

1912:  3rd-Look north

1912:  Temp Bridge

1912: Front-Look north

1912:  2nd-Auction 1912:  Workers

1912:  3rd-Jackson

1912: Concord-3rd

1912:  Rising water 1912:  Gas Plant 1912:  Train/Cotton

1912: 3rd-Look south 1912:  4th-Look south 1912:  2nd-Saffrans 1912:  Auction

1912:  2nd-Look south

1912:  Main-Look N. 1912:  Freight Depot 1912:  Mill

1912:  Commerce

1912:  Market St

1912: Water Works

1912:  County Jail

Snow - Court Square

1863 Snow - Court Square

Coovert Asst

Court Square


Memphis High School 1908

1908 MHS Players and Story

Personal Photographs and Memorabilia ...

Geroge Whitworth and family - Overton Park Lake - 1948

All Memphis Football , 1950-51

1955 Central Champs

1955 Sports Clipping 1955 Sports Clipping 1935 Tech Champs

Hodges Field 1953 Bellevue JH Field 1953 Bellevue JH Field 1953 Bellevue JH 1953

1953 Sports Clipping

1951 Sports Clipping

.Circa  1949-50

Lt. Wm Ingram, jr

Lt John  McKee

War and Remembrance:  Memphis Lawyers and WWII .  Memphis Bar Association Magazine, 1995


Cooper - Young

Christmas - 1958


Central Champs

William V. Davidson found this very rare 1795 map of downtown Memphis (below) years ago in the Archivo Historico Nacianal Museum of Madrid, Spain.   In 1795 the Spanish had a fort “SAN FERNANDO DE LAS BARRANCAS” (SAINT FERDINAND OF THE BLUFFS) . The Spanish were there for almost two years after Tennessee became a State when President Adams sent a Flotilla to challenge the Spanish and renamed it Fort Adams.  They still owned everything west of the Mississippi River until the Louisiana Purchase.  The Spanish also  built a fort on the West Bank named Hopefield El Campo de Esperanza (The Village Hopefield, Arkansas is still on the modern maps).



1795 Memphis Map and Translation Information



Vintage Postcards

No one ever dreamed how important old postcards would eventually become in documenting history.  Welcome to the number one "collectible" in the world.  Don't throw those cards away!
 - Selections from the George Whitworth Collection

Fortune's Jungle Garden Peabody Green Beetle Peabody-Lyceum Ad The Helen Shop


Loew's State Auditorium    

Jeff Davis Home


Alcazar Apartment-Hotel Gayoso-Fortune's

1911 Confederate Park

1905 Cossitt Library

1908 County Court House

1906 Hopkins Grand Opera


Rex Club

St. Peter's Orphanage

Lyceum Theatre

Peabody English Room


Central Baptist 1909     

Central Bap

2nd Pres.

Confederate Park 1908

Radio Service


1st Church Christ Scientist 1914   

1st Bartist 1909

1st Pres...


Temple of...Israel


Bellevue Baptist 1946

St Mary's

St. Peters

Idlewild Presbyterian

Grace Street

Zoo Bear Pits  1911 UCV Reunion 1909 UCV Reunion 1909 White House Cafe
Country Club 1908 Elks Club 1906 Elmwood Cemetery 1910 First Hotel
Home for Aged Women       Hotel Gayoso 1908 James Sanitorium 1910 Home for Incurables 1913

Memphis 1908
TN Club 1908 Bry's 1909
Bry's 1914 Zoo Monkey House 1917
Medical Hospital 1910 St. Joseph's Hospital Chapel National Cemetery 1908 Britling's Interior
Cotton Gin 1912 Cotton Ttansport Memphis Landing 1909 Memphis Landing 1912
Memphis Landing 1916 Memphis Landing 1908 Memphis Landing 1905 Government Fleet 1908
Memphis Souvenir 1906       Race Track 1916 Mounted Police 1913           Fire Insurance Patrol
Old Courthouse 1906 Civic Center 1936 Courthouse Central Police Station
Zoo:  Interior Bird House       Zoo Reptile House Zoo Refreshment Pavilion O.P.  Bridge

O.P. Garden-Pagoda        W. TN  State Normal School WTS Normal President's Hse      Riverside Park Junction
Temple Baptist Sanctuary Windsor Hotel 1905 Custom House

American Legion Club Post 1



Paper items are the first to be thrown away in any society.   Thankfully, some individuals saved these disposable items and collectors  have found them and preserved them for future generations. 
- Selections from the George Whitworth Collection


            1888 Fransioli Hotel

Craftsman 1919

1879 Memphis H.S. Diploma

1892 Bond - Grand Opera House   




<  ==     VERY RARE  - 1827 Memphis Letter, 2 pages  from a nephew to his Aunt     ==>


1920 Grammar Certificate 1909 MHS Graduation 1909 MHS Graduates

1899 Memphis High School Commencement


    German Mai Festival - 1870


Tennessee Brewing Co

Marcus Winchester Obit  ...  and Marriage


Invitations (below) to the 1876, 1879, 1881 Memphis Mardi Gras, designed by Carl Gutherz.  All invitations were sent to Charles Grosvenor, who was a major real estate investor in downtown Memphis and very active in establishing the Memphis streetcar lines.  His wife, Olivia was the daughter of Napoleon Hill, and the owner of the lot where the Sterick Building is located.


Carl Gutherz 1879 Ticket 1876 Invitation- back 1876 Invitation -front

C. N. Grosvenor

1879 Invitation-back 1879 Invitation-front 1881Invitation-back 1881 Invitation-front

Original Hambones

Queensware Bldg

Queensware Interior

 1st Lutheran Brochure


1862 Engraving

Frances Wright newspaper articles about her NASHOBA .  Christian Register  ...1826


Frances Wright Original Poem

Queensware Souvenir

Queensware Souvenir


Howe Jr College 1925 Bridge Opening PA newspaper Ida B. Wells Stock Certificates
Theatre Programs ...

  1909 Program +

 1909 Program +

 1910 Program +  1908 Program +  1912 Program +  1914 Program +

Souvenir Edition of the Memphis Evening Scimitar 1891

The photos below were made from  negatives.   While the newspaper still exists, it's now so brittle that if you touch it or try to unfold the paper, it turns to dust.  In the newspaper are photos of some the most important men in Memphis during this period along with photos of many of their homes.

        Cover 7 8

These files are very large.  Please be patient while they load.



10 11 12          13




16 17 18           19 20 21 22 23

24 25 26 27 28  29




CBC Souvenir Program . 1924

This rare booklet is a souvenir program for the play "It Pays to Advertise".  It was presented by the 1924 Senior Class of Christian Brothers College at the Memphis Catholic Club.  The booklet is like a mini yearbook, including a photo of the play's cast, the Catholic Club, and photos of the 1924 CBC athletic teams.  In addition, it is filled with vintage advertising of the period. 
The entire 44 page booklet is posted.  Click on the cover to see the complete booklet  >


1924 CBC Program


Photo Books

These books are the type sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce describing all that's good about a city.  They contain vintage photos of every aspect of Memphis-Life in the earlier years.  The books below are all posted, along with other photo books, on the PHOTO BOOKS section of the Historic-Memphis website.   (Click on the book cover below to bring up the book).
- Selections from the George Whitworth Collection


Memphis Fall Festival 1911

Memphis 1907 -2

Memphis- 1926

     Memphis Greets You - 1914


Pen and Sunlight Sketches - 1911 Shelby Co TN - 1927 Piggly Wiggly -1919          Night in Memphis 1911
     Tennesseans - 1901      

Sincere thanks to George Whitworth, for allowing us to scan and post selections from his collection. 

He may be reached at 901-486-6436 or by email:


 Please visit the website that sponsors this page

Historic Memphis Website