Ask Vance September 2012


Postcard courtesy of Vincent Astor

Movie Theater Historian Vincent Astor To Speak at Main Library

If I were a betting man, I'd wager that nobody in Memphis knows more about the history of old movie theaters in Memphis than my pal Vincent Astor. The well-known actor, historian, and man about... more »

Sep 28, 2012 4:07 PM Ask Vance

A scene from the Quaker Oats corncob fire of 1952.

Photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

A Reminder of Memphis' Great Corncob Fire of 1952

Just before 2 a.m. on Monday morning, September 24th, an explosion wrecked the Penn-A-Chem chemical plant at Chelsea and Holmes in north Memphis, destroying buildings and sending two critically inj... more »

Sep 25, 2012 11:14 AM Ask Vance


Photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

Window Shopping at Fortner Furniture in 1979 — The Hard Way

As you know, I've been talking recently about the old Fortner Furniture Company clock, and thought I'd share a story about an interesting event in the life of that building. On June 15, 1979, M... more »

Sep 18, 2012 1:00 PM Ask Vance


Photograph courtesy Max Savant Photography

The Fortner Furniture Clock Before the Building Was Demolished

All this talk about the old clock that once topped the Fortner Furniture Company building, and not a single image of the clock itself. Until now, provided by my pal Max of Max Savant Photograph... more »

Sep 12, 2012 11:43 AM Ask Vance


Photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

Fortner Furniture: The Giant Clock Came Later

I know you think I spend most of my days rooting through the old Press-Scimitar files at the University of Memphis, but you'd only be half-right. I just spend my waking hours there. But I did t... more »

Sep 11, 2012 4:36 PM Ask Vance


Photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

Fortner Furniture Company and the Giant Clock Mystery

For decades, one of the enduring landmarks along Summer Avenue was the giant round clock mounted on top of the old Fortner Furniture Company (most recently BoJo's Antique Mall) at the corner of Sum... more »

Sep 10, 2012 12:02 PM Ask Vance


Photo courtesy Balton Sign Co.

Balton Sign Company's Neon Display at the Tri-State Fairgrounds

In the current issue of MBQ: Inside Memphis Business, I tell the story of the Balton Sign Company, which has been manufacturing signs and displays in our city for more than five generations. Th... more »

Sep 5, 2012 4:16 PM Ask Vance

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