Fortner Furniture: The Giant Clock Came Later



Photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

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 turn up a newspaper article about Fortner Furniture Company, at National and Summer, and judging from the artist's rendering, it's obvious that the giant clock was added later.

If you've been paying attention, the "Giant Clock Mystery" was discussed here a few days ago. And apparently the photo that I ran at that time was not retouched after all.

If you're having trouble reading the article, let me give you a hand (or an eye, or whatever). Dated April 29, 1960, it says: "An artist's sketch of Fortner Furniture Co. at National and Summer shows the building after a 2,000-square-foot expansion has been completed. Remodeling of the original building at 3404 Summer has been finished. Four buildings to the west of the present location are being razed to allow room for the expansion, which will be ready by September 1. P.W. Jamison is general contractor. Fortner Furniture Co. was founded by Mr. and Mrs W.V. Fortner 25 years ago. General manager is a brother of Mr. Fortner, Frank K. Fortner."

So there you go. Now I'd like to know: Whose idea was it to add the wonderful clock, and why?

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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. 

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