Memphis founders John Overton, James Winchester and Andrew Jackson knew in 1819 as they signed the city’s charter that the protected elevation of the Fourth Chickasaw Bluff was an ideal location for a port city. With high hopes they named it Memphis after the Nile River’s ancient hub. But could they have foreseen that they were laying the ground work that would make Memphis a vital part of the global transportation and logistics network?
It didn’t take long for traders to capitalize on the city’s central location in the fertile farmland of the delta. By 1890 Memphis had become the world’s largest spot market for cotton. As the cotton trade bourgeoned, the need to move people and commodities efficiently spurred innovations in technology and powered the development of vast arteries of transportation. Our city is now the crossroads of commerce and traffic with an unsurpassed combination of air, rail, land and water shipping possibilities.
Thanks in many ways to the flourishing cotton industry, Memphis became today’s top-rated logistics, distribution and shipping hub in the United States. The Cotton Museum – in partnership with the newly opened Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum – wants to capture the history of Memphis’ evolution into an international intersection of commerce. A new permanent exhibition – Memphis Crossroads – will share the story of the Bluff City’s rise, from the invention of the steamboat to the creation of the busiest cargo airports in the world.
Through oral histories, original films, artifacts, models and educational displays, “Memphis Crossroads” will chronicle the importance of the golden age of the steamboat, the record-breaking bridges, and the great railroads that connected the city to a burgeoning nation. And we want you to be part of this historic story and essential new exhibition.
The Cotton Museum relies on corporate and individual supporters, like you, to help launch new exhibitions that broaden the Museum experience for visitors and students. We offer a variety of opportunities for you to form a valuable partnership with the Cotton Museum—one that ultimately benefits the Memphis community. Contact our Executive Director for more information on being a part of this landmark exhibition as a sponsor.