Electric Charging Stations for Cars - in 1923!



My pal Lindsay Jones recently published a story in the Memphis Flyer about the fancy electric charging stations for battery-powered automobiles that will (we hope) be installed at various locations in Memphis and other cities in Tennessee.

It's a great idea. But not exactly new. Someone thought about it, oh, 90 years ago.

As you can see from this old advertisement that I turned up in a 1923 Memphis City Directory, an establishment called the Electric Garage was in business downtown at 199-209 Jefferson Avenue. Not only did that firm sell and service the new Edison and Philadelphia line of electric cars, but it proclaimed, "Our electric service department makes the electric the car for Memphis."

And what a grand-looking electric car this "typical" Memphis family is driving, as they head out for a night on the town. Why, it's so nice it looks like it's on stage! Not even the Lauderdales dressed up so much when they ventured out to go bowling or roller-skating.

First we brought back the old trolleys, and now electric cars. What's next for Memphis — dirigibles?

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About This Blog

Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and MBQ: Inside Memphis Business.  Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

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Find Vance's old blog posts (pre-April 2011) and comments here.

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