What Awesome Things Were Created In Memphis? You May Be Surprised...

Posted by Chris Clothier on Fri, Nov 21, 2014

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Memphis, TN is full of history. It’s nationally recognized for its contributions not only to the culture of the South, but as a revolutionary epicenter for innovation felt throughout the country. Even today, things that came from Memphis decades ago have a profound impact on our culture — and most folks don’t even realize it!

We love Memphis for a lot of reasons and all are related to real estate, business and creating opportunity for other investors.  But there is so much more that makes Memphis great!  This is a tough and resilient city and we are currently under-going a revitalization.  We are learning again and our unique culture is what we need to lean on.  When you learn about Memphis, you learn a lot about what has made Memphis Invest the company it is today.

A few of Memphis’ contributions to the world are well-known, and others not so much. Check out these cool tidbits of Memphis history!

4 Innovations that Came from Memphis, TN

The Self-Serve Grocery Store

Most of us are familiar with self-serve gas stations in this day and age, but there was a time in which a self-serve grocery store was unheard of. Prior to the founding of Piggly Wiggly in 1916 by Clarence Saunders, shoppers presented their orders to clerks in grocery stores, who would then go through the store and gather items on their lists. This was a waste of time and manpower, however, so Saunders introduced the revolutionary idea that shoppers could pick out their own groceries.

Open shelves and grocery baskets were unheard of at the time, and many thought Piggly Wiggly would fail — but instead, it completely revolutionized the industry.  If you do not know the history of the Clothier family, ask sometime.  The grocery industry is very close to our heart as Kent Clothier, Sr. was a force to be reckoned with and built multiple, highly successful companies in the grocery industry going back to the early 1980's.

Several Modern Music Genres

Memphis is famous for its musical legends. From Memphis and surrounding areas came blues, jazz, gospel, soul and R&B. Many notable blues musicians are associated with Memphis — Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf, just to name a few. In 1957, Stax Records opened in Memphis and produced predominantly African-American music.

The first African-American-formatted radio station was also born in Memphis. WDIA hit the airwaves in 1947 with a young B.B. King acting as disc jockey.  In the early 1950's, disc jockey Dewey Phillips became one of the fist white DJs to play black music on a white radio station.  His story later inspired the hit Broadway musical "Memphis".

Rock n’ Roll

Taking a tip from innovations in blues and soul, Memphis also became known as the seat of the rock n’ roll. Sun Studios is here, home to the Sun Records label started by Sam Phillips in 1950. Artists like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins made recordings there, creating the rock n’ roll legacy that continues today.

The Typewriter Ribbon

George K. Anderson of Memphis, TN was awarded the patent for the typewriter ribbon in 1886. Though the typewriter itself was patented much earlier, successful models weren’t made by Christopher Sholes until 1873, thirteen years before the awarded patent.

Memphis is an amazing city and there is so much more to the city than just real estate.  Take some time and learn what makes the city really great!  Want to learn more about the city, download our jump start packet and we will fill you in a little more!

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image credit: Carl Wycoff

 

Topics: Memphis