(ScStr: t. 791; 1. 227'; b. 30'1"; dph. 11'5"; s. 14 k.; a. 7 guns)
The second Memphis, a 7-gun screw steamer, built by William Denny & Bros., Dumbarton, Scotland, in 1861, was captured by side wheel gunboat Magnolia while running the blockade from Charleston, S.C., with a cargo of cotton
31 July 1862; purchased by the Navy from a prize court
at New York 4 September 1862; and commissioned 4 October 1862, Acting Volunteer Lt. Pendleton G. Watmough in command.
Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Memphis sailed for Charleston and began service 14 October with the capture of British steamer Ouachita bound for Havana. She continued patrol through 1862 into 1863. On 4 January she joined side wheel steamer Quaker City in taking Confederate sloop Mercury with a cargo of turpentine for Nassau. The 31st of that same month Confederate ironclads Palmetto State and Chicora made a dash out of Charleston Harbor into the midst of the blockading ships. Screw steamer Mercedita was rammed and disabled by Palmetto State while side wheel steamer Redstone State was next attacked and left for Memphis to take in tow. The two rams then retired.
By March of the following year, Memphis was operating in the North Edisto River, S.C. On 6 March 1864 Confederate torpedo boat David attempted a run on the Union blockader. The spar torpedo struck Memphis' port quarter but did not explode. After her second torpedo misfired David retreated upstream out of range of her foe's heavy guns.Memphis uninjured, continued her blockading duties to the end of the Civil War.
On 6 May 1867 Memphis was decommissioned and sold to V. Brown & Co., at New York, 8 May 1869. Renamed Mississippi, the screw steamer operated as a freight ship until 13 May 1883 when she was gutted by a dock fire at Seattle, Wash., and her wreck abandoned.
Memphis II ScStr - History
(ScStr.: t. 7,914 (gross) 1. 492'0" b. 68'3" dr. 31'9"
cpl. 106 tr. 4,771 (approx.) a. none)
The second Virginian, a transport, was originally built as the steel-hulled, twin screw steamship Maine. Completed in 1903 at Sparrows Point, Md., by the Maryland Steel Co., Maine was operated by the Atlantic Transportation Co. until 1908. In that year, she was acquired by the American-Hawaiian Steamship Co. and renamed Virginian. Except for the brief period of service with the Navy in 1919, Virginian remained with that company, homeported in New York, into the 1940's.
Early in 1919, the Navy acquired the steamship.for service with the Cruiser and Transport Force, United States Atlantic Fleet. She was commissioned at Hoboken, N.J., on 1 February 1919, Lt. Comdr. John S. Greene in command, and, soon thereafter, shifted to Fletcher's Dry Dock Co., Hoboken, for alterations and repairs. She remained at Fletcher's yard through the end of February.
On 11 March, Virginian got underway and anchored
n New York harbor, abreast the Statue of Liberty. She then moved to pier 7, Bush Terminal, Brooklyn N.Y., where she took on board cargo-billet steel, oats and potatoes-and provisions for her crew. Repairs and alterations-necessary to convert the erstwhile merchant steamer to a troop ship-continued apace until she backed clear of her berth at 1713 on 21 March, with orders to proceed independently to France.
Virginian dropped anchor off Charpentier Point, near St. Nazaire, on 3 April, and shifted to that key seaport the following day. She unloaded her cargo there for the next two days before she began embarking Army troops for transport back to the United States. Her passengers included 74 officers and 4,097 men, from units that ranged from the 362d Infantry Machine Gun Co. to the 127th Convalescent Detachment. She got underway at 0740 on 8 April to return to the United States.
Arriving at the north side of Army dock number 7 Hoboken, on the morning of 20 April, Virginian discharged the troops before shifting to the Morse Dry Docks, Brooklyn, for repairs to her propellers. She shifted back to the Army dock at Hoboken on the 27th only to get underway three days later to pick up returning doughboys for passage home.
Virginian reached St. Nazaire on the afternoon of 11 May, took on board 56 officers and 4,069 men, and departed that port on the 13th, bound for Hampton Roads. After a 12-day passage, the transport moored at the C&O docks at Newport News on the afternoon of 25 May and had all of the troops disembarked within an hour. After a brief period of upkeep and repairs at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., Virginian again set sail for France.
The troop transport subsequently conducted two more round-trip voyages, bringing back men from "over there." She took the third group of troops back to Hampton Roads (the third voyage lasting from 1 to 26 June) and the fourth and final one to Hoboken (the voyage taking from 1 July to 3 August). After discharging the last troops, by 0945 on 4 August, Virginian began to prepare for demobilization. Over the next fortnight, yard workmen and ship's company bent to the task of taking down troop fittings, performing routine maintenance tasks, discharging ballasts, cleaning holds and inventorying equipment. At 1600 on 19 August 1919, Virginian was decommissioned and formally turned over to the representative of the American Hawaiian Steamship Co., Capt. John S. Greene (who had, incidentally, been the transport's first commanding officer). She subsequently resumed her mercantile service with the American-Hawaiian shipping firm, serving into the late 1940's. Her name ultimately disappeared from period shipping registers at the end of the decade.
Limitations of weapons in the U.S. arsenal Edit
Prior to World War II, the U.S. Army Ordnance Department received reports that the full-size M1 rifle was too heavy and cumbersome for most support troops (staff, artillerymen, radiomen, etc.) to carry. During pre-war and early war field exercises, it was found that the M1 Garand impeded these soldiers' mobility, as a slung rifle would frequently catch on brush or hit the back of the helmet and tilt it over the eyes. Many soldiers found the rifle slid off the shoulder unless slung diagonally across the back, where it prevented the wearing of standard field packs and haversacks. [ citation needed ]
Additionally, Germany's use of glider-borne and paratrooper forces to launch surprise ‘blitzkrieg’ attacks behind the front lines generated a request for a new compact infantry weapon to equip support troops.   This request called for a compact, lightweight defensive weapon with greater range, accuracy and firepower than a handgun, while weighing half as much as the Thompson submachine gun or the M1 rifle.  The U.S. Army decided that a carbine-type weapon would adequately fulfill all of these requirements, and specified that the new arm should weigh no more than 5 pounds (2.3 kg) and have an effective range of 300 yards (270 m).   Paratroopers were also added to the list of intended users and a folding-stock version would also be developed. [ citation needed ]
Designing the M1 carbine Edit
In 1938, the Chief of Infantry requested that the Ordnance Department develop a "light rifle" or carbine, though the formal requirement for the weapon type was not approved until 1940.
Winchester at first did not submit a carbine design, as it was occupied in developing the .30-06 Winchester M2 military rifle. The rifle originated as a design by Jonathan "Ed" Browning, brother of the famous firearm designer John Browning. A couple of months after Ed Browning's death in May 1939, Winchester hired David Marshall "Carbine" Williams who had begun work on a short-stroke gas piston design while serving a prison sentence at a North Carolina minimum-security work farm. Winchester, after Williams' release, had hired Williams on the strength of recommendations of firearms industry leaders and hoped Williams would be able to complete various designs left unfinished by Ed Browning, including the Winchester .30-06 M2 rifle. Williams incorporated his short-stroke piston in the existing design. After the Marine Corps semi-automatic rifle trials in 1940, Browning's rear-locking tilting bolt design proved unreliable in sandy conditions. As a result, the rifle was redesigned to incorporate a Garand-style rotating bolt and operating rod, retaining Williams' short-stroke piston. By May 1941, Williams had shaved the M2 rifle prototype from about 9.5 lb (4.3 kg) to a mere 7.5 lb (3.4 kg). [ citation needed ]
Ordnance found unsatisfactory the first series of prototype carbines submitted by several firearms companies and some independent designers.  Winchester had contacted the Ordnance Department to examine their rifle M2 design. Major René Studler of Ordnance believed the rifle design could be scaled down to a carbine which would weigh 4.5 to 4.75 lb (2.0–2.2 kg) and demanded a prototype as soon as possible. The first model was developed at Winchester in 13 days by William C. Roemer, Fred Humeston and three other Winchester engineers under supervision of Edwin Pugsley, and was essentially Williams' last version of the .30-06 M2 scaled down to the .30 SL cartridge.  This patchwork prototype was cobbled together using the trigger housing and lockwork of a Winchester M1905 rifle and a modified Garand operating rod. The prototype was an immediate hit with army observers. 
After the initial Army testing in August 1941, the Winchester design team set out to develop a more refined version. Williams participated in the finishing of this prototype. The second prototype competed successfully against all remaining carbine candidates in September 1941, and Winchester was notified of their success the next month. Standardization as the M1 carbine was approved on October 22, 1941. This story was the loose basis for the 1952 movie Carbine Williams starring James Stewart. Contrary to the movie, Williams had little to do with the carbine's development, with the exception of his short-stroke gas piston design. Williams worked on his own design apart from the other Winchester staff, but it was not ready for testing until December 1941, two months after the Winchester M1 carbine had been adopted and type-classified. Winchester supervisor Edwin Pugsley conceded that Williams' final design was "an advance on the one that was accepted", but noted that Williams' decision to go it alone was a distinct impediment to the project,  and Williams' additional design features were not incorporated into M1 production. In a 1951 memo written in fear of a patent infringement lawsuit by Williams, Winchester noted his patent for the short-stroke piston may have been improperly granted as a previous patent covering the same principle of operation was overlooked by the patent office. 
In 1973, the senior technical editor at the NRA contacted Edwin Pugsley for "a technical last testament" on M1 carbine history shortly before his death on November 19, 1975. According to Pugsley, "The carbine was invented by no single man," but was the result of a team effort including: William C. Roemer, David Marshall Williams, Fred Humeston, Cliff Warner, at least three other Winchester engineers, and Pugsley himself. Ideas were taken and modified from the Winchester M2 Browning rifle (Williams' gas system), the Winchester Model 1905 rifle (fire control group and magazine), M1 Garand (buttstock dimensions, and bolt and operating slide principles), and a percussion shotgun in Pugsley's collection (hook breech and barrel band assembly/disassembly). 
About Our History
Memphis Riverboats, formerly Memphis Queen Line, was a family business owned primarily by Capt. Jake Meanley and his sister Capt. Dale Lozier. Originally, the business started as the Memphis Queen Line, with the Memphis Queen II, a two-decked sternwheeler, that was built for Capt. Ed Langford in 1955 by the Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works. Due to failing health, Capt. Ed sold the vessel in 1960 to Capt. Tom Meanley, a reporter-photographer for the Memphis Press-Scimitar. Capt. Tom believed he had bought a summer job as Mississippi River Paddlewheeler pilot. A few years later, a decision was made to expand the company, his summer job became a full-time endeavor, and he decided to leave his position with the newspaper.
His wife Carol, daughter Dale age 13 and, son Jake age 12, all were involved in the family business. Dale’s soon to be husband John Lozier, a student at Memphis State University, was hired in the spring of 1961. The business grew with the completion of the 600 passenger party barge Memphis Showboat in 1964. Followed by the addition of the true sternwheeler Belle Carol (named after Mrs. Meanley, of course), a 65 passenger vessel in 1967. Then Capt. Tom designed and built a tug, the Capt. Jake, in his own backyard. He went on to bigger and better when he designed the 65-foot yacht LORAC (“Carol” backwards) with a dream of sailing around the world. Unfortunately Carol Meanley was diagnosed with cancer soon after the boat’s launching in 1975, and passed away before she and Capt. Tom could realize their dream of sailing around the world on the Lorac.
Meanwhile, Capt. Tom decided that the backyard was ready for an even larger boat. This time he designed and built the 300 passenger Memphis Queen III which was completed in 1978. The current fleet was not quite satisfying for Capt. Tom, and with Mud IsIand, a Mississippi River theme park in the works, the Island Queen was born. Construction began (again in the -backyard) on the Island Queen, a 300 passenger triple-decked sternwheeler, which was completed in 1984. Capt. Tom retired and lived where he was born in San Diego, California, until his return to Memphis where he passed away in 1996. Having sold most of his company to Jake, John and Dale Lozier (married 19 1/2 years).
John passed away in 1988 and Jake and Dale operated the company with the assistance of friend Jimmy Ogle, whom they knew from his earlier days at Mud Island. Capt. Jake and Capt. Dale had great plans for the business since Memphis had become a tourist destination. Capt. Dale’s sons John, and William Lozier became third generation captains and confirmed river rats having worked on ol’ Man River. John completed his law degree at Tulane University and became a maritime lawyer in Greenville, MS. In 2005, William bought out the family business and began to update and refurbish the fleet, now known as Memphis Riverboats.
County clerks across the state register vehicles and assist with these transactions. Review the information on these pages before visiting your county clerk to make sure that you bring the correct documentation and meet all legal requirements.
Click on the heading below to read more information about the topic.
State Registration Fees
- Personal vehicle registration is $21.50
- Commercial vehicle (buses, taxis) registration is
- $39.88 (seats 7 or less)
- $89.38 (seats 7-15)
- $155.38 (seats 16-25)
- $237.87 (seats 26-35)
- $320.38 (seats 35+ )
Please note: you may be subject to additional county fees and fees for specialized license plates.
New State Registration Fees Effective July 1, 2017
- Personal vehicle registration is $26.50
- Commercial vehicle (buses, taxis) registration is
- $49.88 (seats 7 or less)
- $99.38 (seats 7-15)
- $165.38 (seats 16-25)
- $247.87 (seats 26-35)
- $330.38 (seats 35+ )
Please note: you may be subject to additional county fees and fees for specialized license plates.
New Electric Vehicle Registration Fee Effective July 1, 2017
A new fee for drivers of electric vehicles will begin on July 1, 2017.
Electric car drivers will be charged a $100 registration fee in addition to the standard registration fee.
The state registration fee for electric vehicles is $21.50. Effective July 1, 2017 registration will be $26.50.
Please note: you may be subject to additional county fees and fees for specialized license plates.
A House And A City Council At Odds With History, Part II
It was the summer of 1992. For Midtowners who had quietly filed out of council chambers after a July 28 meeting at City Hall, it would turn out to be a long summer and fall that would carry over into a still longer – and controversial – winter and spring of discontent that made headlines for the better part of a year.
Central Gardens’ historic district application had just been denied in a City Council vote. In falling one vote short of the seven needed for approval, residents were dejected. Others were stunned. Some were outraged. Of particular concern was the attitudes expressed by some on the council who mentioned revamping the Memphis Landmarks Commission because in their opinion it was “dominated by historic preservation purists impeding redevelopment of historic districts.”
Worse, fears circulated that some council members wanted to see the landmarks commission abolished altogether.
The Commercial Appeal’s coverage in 1992
At stake was the neighborhood’s long-held desire to become a historic conservation district, a designation that would protect the area’s historic homes from inappropriate renovations or home additions. The status as a local landmarks district, with legislative protections from the Memphis Landmarks Commission, would also protect the neighborhood’s homes from outright demolitions like the rather appalling one they had witnessed a year and a half earlier.
The razing of the Norfleet-Fuller Mansion, the 1910 house at 1585 Central Avenue that William T. Fuller had torn down – out of apathy or spite – in December of 1990, still haunted area residents. Driving past the property on Central, they were reminded of it daily its 2.8 acres on the south side of the avenue still sitting empty amidst the grove of tall trees now missing the three stories of stucco and history of its former, eighty-year-old resident. The property sat vacant for another eleven years, before Mr. Fuller finally sold the land to James ‘Bubba’ Shepherd’s Shepherd Construction Co. Inc. for $500,000 in 2001.
At the time of the demolition in 1990 the neighborhood association was already almost a year into the work needed to gain historic zoning protections. By the spring of 1992, the neighborhood had invested two and a half years, over $3,000, and thousands of hours of volunteer efforts.
In April of ’92 Central Gardens’ historic conservation district application was approved by the Memphis Landmarks Commission two months later in June, it was approved by the Land Use Control Board. Most residents were cautiously confident in passing the final hurdle with a City Council vote, to be held July 28.
A Missing Vote, and A Hold
However, as the votes were tallied and approval came up one vote short, the stunned and outraged Midtown crowd who had made their way to council chambers wondered, “Where was that one vote?”
As it turned out, that one vote had been too late. As reported by The Commercial Appeal:
A measure that would have made the Midtown neighborhood the largest historic district in Memphis fell one vote short of the seven required for approval Tuesday. Councilman Kenneth Whalum said he registered his yes vote too late.
Unless the vote is reconsidered at Tuesday’s council meeting, the neighborhood’s 2 1/2-year drive to become a local historic district will be defeated. Residents have spent more than $3,000 and thousands of volunteer hours pushing the measure they believe will protect architectural purity and real estate values…
”We’re completely outraged,” said Mark Vorder-Bruegge, who led the 1,600-household group’s effort to become a historic district. ”This is a self-help measure that wouldn’t cost the city anything.”
As it stood, having fallen one vote short of approval, the neighborhood would have to wait a mandatory 18 months to start the process anew and re-apply for historic status. However with the July 28 vote tally being disputed, the neighborhood had an option to ask council to reconsider the vote, and they quickly regrouped in effort to sway the council.
It was a move that would not overturn the results of the vote, nor was it designed to rather in having council reconsider, Central Gardens was able to ask that their pending application be put on hold for 12 weeks rather than face outright rejection and a delay of a year and a half.
On August 4, just one week later and after vigorous lobbying, nearly 200 citizens jammed council chambers to show support for the neighborhood’s request for a hold. Councilman Tom Marshall, who had registered one of the two no-votes, had the authority to follow the neighborhood’s request and bring the measure back up on condition it would then be delayed.
“I’m trying to meet you halfway,” Marshall told members of the jammed-packed audience.
He did. And the council voted unanimously in favor of the putting the landmark application on hold until late October.
It was but a small, temporary victory that gave the neighborhood something to fight for, and ruminate over, during the next ten exhausting and frustrating months.
“We’ve really got a fight on our hands now…”
Meanwhile, the City Council followed through on a vote to investigate the Landmarks Commission and determine if it should be revamped or its authority weakened to favor more area development.
It was a debate that directly echoes this month’s struggles by the Cooper-Young neighborhood to become a local historic district, the argument against historic preservation that was as old as the preservation movement itself – that historic landmarking of whole districts is an obstacle to growth and development.
“I think they all (developers) would still like to get us out of their way,” Landmarks commission member Jack Tucker Jr. said in 1992.
Though it had played out with the application denial July 28, landmarks commission supporters sensed a storm brewing months earlier. “The commission had drawn fire for being too strict with home designs in a development of up to 200 homes west of Overton Park. Citing those complaints, city officials asked the commission to review its guidelines.” (The Commercial Appeal)
This prompted commission supporters to flex their political muscle by creating a “pro-Landmarks neighborhood coalition called the Historic Districts Alliance. Organizers said they wanted to present a unified front in support of a strong Landmarks Commission and protection of historic neighborhoods.”
The argument repeated in 1992 had been revived back in 1989, “when (councilman) Tom Marshall sponsored an ordinance weakening the Landmarks Commission. Marshall’s architecture firm had been handling a proposed building renovation that ran into problems with the Landmarks Commission. Marshall said he was treated unfairly by Landmarks supporters.” (The Commercial Appeal)
Picking up Marshall’s motion that year, the council voted to weaken the Landmarks Commission, and it provoked a public outcry. “After neighborhood groups rallied in support of Landmarks, the council restored the commission’s powers to oversee building activity in historic districts. The council launched a lengthy study of the commission that ultimately produced no major changes.”
However the 1992 council denial struck residents as particularly discouraging. “Some Landmarks supporters believe the commission faces a tougher road this time because representatives of the (Mayor W. W.) Herenton administration have suggested Landmarks may be hindering development.” (The Commercial Appeal)
After listening to Shep Wilbun and Tom Marshall – the two council members who favored either the revamping or the abolishing of the Landmarks Commission – Midtown landmark supporters were left shaking their heads.
The Commercial Appeal, August 1992:
Landmarks officials were angered and frustrated by the decision to investigate.
Chairman Janis Foster and vice chairman Jack Tucker Jr., whose five-year terms expire Dec. 31, rejected the assertion of some council members that Landmarks doesn’t balance preservation and development interests.
“Here we go again,” Foster said. “There seems to be a lot of misinformation and misperceptions out there. I think if they looked at the real facts of the situation, they’d see that is not true. Frankly, I’m getting tired of being labeled as an extreme preservationist. As chairman, I don’t even have a vote.”
Tucker said, “I think we just have been put in a bad light by a very few developers who have influenced the council and influenced the administration.
“We have no desire to usurp the council’s authority. We just want to preserve the city’s heritage and encourage development.”
Sue Williams, a 1992 member of the Evergreen Historic District Association board and spokesman for the short-lived coalition of historic districts, said at the time that “This is exactly where we were three years ago. It’s time to move forward, not backward.”
Jessica Robinson, 1992 president of the Evergreen neighborhood association, expressed deeper concerns. “We thought we had a fight three years ago,” she said. “We’ve really got a fight on our hands now.”
“…the Landmarks Commission does what it is designed to do”
In early October a special council committee was organized to draft an ordinance designed to address concerns about the Landmarks Commission. Councilman Kenneth Whalum was appointed head of the committee. “It is my intent to hold the meetings with an open mind,” he said. “I want to get to the bottom of what has been a festering problem.”
For six months the committee and the landmarks commission debated in public view and reviewed several proposals, including changes to broaden landmarks’ membership and make its actions appealable without going to court. Also considered were turnovers in upcoming 1993 commission appointments that would radically alter the makeup and decision-making of the board, and a proposal to increase the commission’s size from nine members to twelve that would have violated state landmarks laws.
Through the debates, the October 27 review to reconsider Central Gardens’ landmarks application was delayed and extended into the following year. It was delayed again the first week of January 1993, postponed until the special committee had completed their findings.
Finally, on a Saturday morning, January 16, 1993, Central Gardens residents wary from the delays and debates opened their newspapers and saw the best news they had seen in months.
Don’t sap Landmarks panel, urges study group
The special subcommittee studying the Landmarks Commission decided without a formal vote that only minor changes were needed in commission policies. It recommend that more staff be hired to help the agency do its job.
The decision, which must be adopted by the full City Council, is a major victory for historic preservationists, who feared the panel would recommend gutting the commission in order to make it more friendly to developers.
Councilman Kenneth Whalum, chairman of the special subcommittee and a longtime critic of the Landmarks Committee, conceded that many of the complaints against landmarks came down to “misunderstandings and personality clashes.” With that he referred to some council members and developers who had complained about nitpicking on construction.
“There were a lot of horror stories out there (about the Landmarks Commission),” he said. “But upon closer examination many of these were not what some people would have had us believe.”
Ultimately he sided with the same landmarks supporters he had opposed just months earlier.
“Essentially, the Landmarks Commission does what it is designed to do,” Whalum said. “The mechanics from time to time might get slightly out of whack, but overall it does its job. I don’t think Landmarks has done such a horrible job that it needs . . . to get burned up.”
When all was said and done, after months of back and forth and delays and debates, the committee’s findings determined that the basic duties and responsibilities of the Landmarks Commission remain the same. Commission membership also remained the same.
The two new committee recommendations only strengthened the Landmarks Commission. The first allowed the commission to hire two or more staff members to support the over 2,000 historic structures under landmarks jurisdiction. The second resulted in a rewrite of the commission’s guidelines around renovation and remodeling that helped to further guide property owners in meeting commission standards for construction on historic buildings.
The committee’s recommendations also gave hope to Central Gardens that their historic district application would finally go back before City Council for a final, historic vote.
“Now I’m feeling maybe we’re a little safer.”
But more hurdles were to come, as City Council delayed again a final vote on the neighborhood’s application until it first approved the landmarks changes recommended by the special council committee. It would be the fourth delay over a five-month period for the neighborhood. And the delay came at a price, as the neighborhood lost two more homes to demolition, this time at the hands of Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School, which tore down two bungalows at 219 and 225 Lemaster to make way for a children’s playground.
Meanwhile, in March of 1993, the squabbles at City Hall continued between City Council and Landmarks supporters over details in the new landmarks proposals. This time the arguments came from council members who insisted that there be an appeals process for adverse landmarks decisions that would allow the unsuccessful applicant to appeal to City Council rather than to go to Chancery Court. Landmarks supporters argued the proposal would weaken the Memphis Landmarks Commission proponents of the new appeals process said it gave applicants their due process.
John Hopkins, a historic preservation consultant, said that the proposed changes were part of “an ongoing effort by City Council to fix something that’s not broken.” While Councilman Shep Wilbun alleged that allowing appeals to the council was similar to how other land use matters were treated in Memphis. “We do exactly the same thing with zoning cases all the time,” he said.
Weary and ready for the ordinance debates to be behind them, the council voted 10-3 in favor of the changes.
With the vote, landmarks protections for historic neighborhood districts continued by a slightly revamped Landmarks Commission with disputed authority. Moreover, council was now cleared to act on the historic district application that Central Gardens had been seeking for months. The vote was held in City Council chambers on April 20, 1993. And to the delight of many, the approval was unanimous.
“Central Gardens voted historic area” The Commercial Appeal read.
Central Gardens became the city’s ninth and largest historic conservation district Tuesday. By a 10-0 vote, the City Council approved the historic designation, long sought by the Midtown neighborhood.
Approval means some kinds of new construction and demolition in the 1,600- household neighborhood will be regulated by the Memphis Landmarks Commission. The council action ends 10 months of waiting by the Central Gardens Area Association, which saw its bid for historic district status fall one vote short of approval in July.
To some the approval felt anti-climactic. But for most residents, there was elation.
“We’re thrilled that we’re a historic conservation district, finally. Finally!” said Sandra Palazolo, association president. “I think what a lot of our concerns were was demolishing houses. You can still have a house demolished, as long as it’s approved by Landmarks. It’s just another layer of protection. Now I’m feeling maybe we’re a little safer.”
In finally gaining historic district status, the neighborhood fulfilled a goal established back in 1967, when the association was founded, and continued in 1981 when the neighborhood achieved its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It put formal, legislative protections on the neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets, its historic architecture, and in its long-lived friendliness. It finally recognized the love and passion neighbors have for the neighborhood: its heavy wood molding and stained glass the orderly grid system of the streets the sense of pride and a sense of history.
And oh yes, the front porches.
“Just about everyone has a front porch here,” said neighborhood past-president Mark Vorder Bruegge Jr. “You can walk by a house and see people on the porch and say hello, and they speak back.”
“Why do I live here?” Palazolo went on to say. “It’s the ambience, the character. It’s real.”
This was the second of two parts – click here for Part I.
This article relied heavily on The Commercial Appeal reporting from the spring of 1992 to the spring of 1993. Quoted in this article is the work of these fine reporters:
Wayne Risher, Staff Reporter Ron Maxey, Staff Reporter Dave Hirschman, Staff Reporter Susan Adler Thorp, political columnist Roland Klose, Staff Reporter Jerry Huston, Staff Reporter The Commercial Appeal Editorial Board
The History of Matsumoku
Matsumoku Industrial was a Japanese manufacturing company once existed in Matsumoto city, Japan, between 1951 – 1987. Established in 1951 as a woodworking manufacturer of various items but is best known as a manufacturer of high quality guitars and bass guitars including some Epiphone and Aria guitars.
In 1951, Matsumoku was founded as “Matsumoto Mokko” (In English: Matsumoto Woodworking Company) by Mr. Tsukada in Matsumoto, Japan. It was a family owned woodworking business that specialized in building tansu and butsudan.
On the other hand, shortly after the World War II (1939-1945), the Singer Corporation had established a Japanese subsidiary, Singer Sewing Machine Company, Japan, and set up production facilities in Nagoya. Matsumoku Industrial was contracted to build its sewing machine cabinets, and in 1951 Matsumoku became a partially owned subsidiary of Singer, Japan. Matsumoku also built amplifier cabinets and wooden cabinets for audio and television makers.
In the early-1960s (or mid-1950s), Matsumoku began to look into other woodworking markets because several subcontract work of the Singer had been moved into the Philippines and, as it had on its staff several skilled luthiers, finally ventured into guitar and violin production in 1963. Modest classical guitars, small steel stringed acoustic guitars, and violins were built and marketed in the mid-1960s.  However, as other Japanese companies were producing similar instruments, Matsumoku set out to distinguish itself by producing high quality acoustic and electric archtop guitars. Several of Matsumoku’s early archtop guitars survive, most owing their basic designs to Hofner, Framus, and Gibson. By the early 1960s, Matsumoku had acquired new mills, lathes and specialized presses and began to increase musical instrument production. Combined with its staff of skilled craftsmen, Matsumoku was able to realize the mass production of high quality guitars.
However, because it mainly manufactured guitars under contract, the role of Matsumoku was largely unknown outside of Japan’s guitar making circles until its name began appearing on neck bolt plates, headstocks, and sound hole labels in the late 1970s.
By the early 1970s, Matsumoku had begun using CNC (computer numerical controlled) mills, routers, and lathes, one of the first guitar makers to do so. This created a significant economy of scale, allowing the company to rely upon factory automation rather than skilled labor for rough shaping of components and basic assembly tasks. Even so, 60% of the construction process was still done by hand, including planing, fretting, joining, and assembly. This machine-cut yet hand-worked process offered improved profit margins at lower unit prices and yielded high quality instruments with unique character.
Matsumoku produced guitars, or parts of guitars, for Vox, Guyatone, FujiGen Gakki, Kanda Shokai (Greco), Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez), Nippon Gakki (Yamaha), Aria and Norlin (parent company of Gibson). American owned Unicord contracted Matsumoku to build most of its Univox and Westbury guitars. St. Louis Music Company imported Matsumoku built Electra Guitars. J. C. Penney sold Matsumoku-built Skylark guitars through its catalog division. Matsumoku built many early Greco guitars as well as Memphis, Vantage, Westbury, Westminster, Cutler, Lyle and Fell. Washburn Guitars contracted Matsumoku to build some of its electric guitars and basses from 1979 through 1984 (though Yamaki was the manufacturer for the early Wing series). Though the names above reflect Matsumoku’s involvement, many of the names were later sold to other companies, which made completely different guitars in quality and sound.
In 1979, Matsumoku began to market its own guitars under the Westone name.
Shiro Arai founded Arai and Company in 1953 as an importer of classical guitars. In 1960, Arai contracted Guyatone to manufacture guitars. At the time, Guyatone was one of Japan’s leading musical instrument manufacturers. However, Guyatone could not meet Arai’s production requirements, and in 1964, Arai and Company contracted musical instrument manufacturing with Matsumoku.
Shiro Arai’s early Guyatone produced guitars displayed problems when exported caused by the dryer climates in America: bindings became unglued, backs split, and necks broke just below the headstock. These issues were addressed early on with Matsumoku. The solution was to use wood that had been dried for at least two years, stronger glues with longer clamp times, and one feature that remained throughout Matsumoku’s production: the 3 piece maple neck.
The relationship between the two companies was both amicable and symbiotic. Aria focused on sales in both domestic and export markets and provided design development. Matsumoku devoted its energies on engineering and building guitars and other stringed instruments. Throughout its 22-year business relationship, Aria remained Matsumoku’s principal client. Matsumoku often preferred using Aria as its business agent, and many of Matsumoku’s contracts were written by Aria with Matsumoku stated or implied as sub-contracted manufacturer.
Design engineer Nobuaki Hayashi (currently with Atlansia) became part of Matsumoku’s engineering team in the mid-1970s. Hayashi’s pseudonym, “H. Noble”, appeared on many of the Aria Pro II instruments he designed. Aria’s guitars that followed showed remarkable design innovation and a definitive move away from Gibson and Fender forms. Hayashi is best known as the designer of the Aria Pro II, SB-1000 bass and the Aria Pro II, PE series guitars.Some of these were made with Maple bodies but higher end had Ash Body models such as the PE1000 with Protomatic pickups and the PE1500 with DiMarzio Pickups. These Ash Bodied Guitars were only produced in extremely small numbers for the domestic market. However most were, maple bodies. Some Guitars were produced with the Urushi finish and again these were mostly produced for the domestic market, in both red and brown urushi lacquer. The vast majority of these would have Ash Bodies and the export models would be Maple.
Arai and Company guitars were briefly labeled Arai, and then switched to the familiar Aria around 1966. Aria Diamond was a name chosen for its early hollow bodied electric guitars. From 1975 onward, after the arrival of Hayashi, all guitars were labeled Aria Pro II. Aria had two factories that produced guitars besides Matsumoku, one which made classical guitars, and another that made medium grade and specialty guitars.
Matsumoku also manufactured drum kits under the Aria name, initially under licence from Remo who had identified a gap in the market for low-cost drum kits in the compact 5-piece “rock” configuration as innovated by the Rogers PowerTone range in the early 1970s.
Gibson decided to move Epiphone production to Japan in the early 1970s and chose Aria as its contractor. As a subcontractor to Aria, Matsumoku manufactured most electric Epiphones made in Japan from 1970 through 1986 (a few solid body electrics were made by other Japanese manufacturers and at least one model was made in Taiwan). Models include the solid body ET series (Crestwood) the SC series (Scroll) and the Model 1140 (Flying V) as well as Epiphone’s archtop electric guitars: 5102T/EA-250, Sheraton, Riviera, Casino, and Emperor.
Early Matsumoku made Epiphone archtops and hollow-body basses had four-point bolt on necks. As production costs of bolt on neck guitars were less, some guitarists regarded them as inferior instruments. However, it was not the neck construction, that was inferior (as described below, many Matsumoku-built necks were of premium quality). Rather, it was the lack of reinforcement in the neck pocket area, which could enable, that area to act like a hinge, causing future problems with high action due to tension on the body’s neck pocket from the strings. Collectors of Matsumoku guitars from this period have often solved this problem by fabricating and installing permanent custom neck shims. Set neck archtop guitars followed in late 1975. Specifications on Epiphone archtops changed throughout the Matsumoku era.
Interestingly, Gibson changed the look and sound of Epiphone’s best selling archtop, the Casino, when production shifted to Japan. Upon its introduction in 1964, the Casino was a strong seller with rock guitarists, but sales stalled in the late 1960s. Gibson decided to remarket it toward jazz players and changed the tailpiece to one from a Riviera, and the pickups to mini-humbuckers. The result was a Casino that looked more like a short scale Riviera. The Casino was restored to its 1965 specifications around 1975, about the same time Matsumoku began production of set neck archtops.
Many Matsumoku built guitars, including Epiphone archtops, utilized a 3 piece maple neck with the center section’s grain oriented 90 degrees from the side wood. This created a very strong neck not prone to splitting or warping. An often used variation of this is the 5 piece neck with two thin trim strips of walnut or ebony separating the 3 sections. Matsumoku made many neck-through-body solid body electric guitars and basses, most with 5 piece necks.
Matsumoku often utilized the Nisshin Onpa company, who own the Maxon Effects brand as a subcontractor for its pickups. Some Maxon pickups have Maxon’s “M” logo stamped on the back.
The name Matsumoku appeared on the neck bolt plate of some guitars they built. Early Grecos and some 1980s Aria Pro IIs have Matsumoku on the neck bolt plate. Other neck plates were blank or simply had the word “Japan” stamped on them.
Many Matsumoku set neck guitars and basses have the inspector’s hon (name stamp) stamped inside the neck pick-up cavity.
Gibson restructured after being sold by Norlin and began to move its Epiphone production to other Japanese manufacturers and to Korea. By 1986, the home sewing machine market was in heavy decline and Singer was nearly bankrupt. Matsumoku could not afford to buy itself out of Singer and in 1987, closed down.
After Matsumoku ceased operations, Aria continued production of Aria Pro II guitars and basses through its own factories and other manufactures. Some top line and special edition guitars are still manufactured in Japan, however, most Aria guitars are now produced in Korea and China.
Information about Matsumoku’s contribution to guitar making is better known now due in large part to the Internet. Matsumoku’s products enjoy a strong following among devoted enthusiasts.
Players of Matsumoku guitars
- of Nirvana, Univox Hi-Flier, Epiphone ET-270, Aria Pro II Cardinal Series CS-250, Washburn Force 31 of Duran Duran, Aria Pro II SB-1000 bass of Metallica, Aria Pro II SB-1000 bass , Electra Model 2281 , Aria Pro II PE series guitars (several models) , Epiphone EA-260 bass , Univox Coily guitar and Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs of Oasis played Matsumoku-manufactured Epiphone Rivieras in mid-1990s. of Hawkwind plays a Matsumoku made Westone Spectrum LX among other Westone guitars. of Bye Bye Japan. He plays an Aria Pro II Thor Sound bass TSB-400
Note: There is often confusion between Matsumoku and Matsumoto. Matsumoto is a town in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, where FujiGen Gakki, Gotoh, and other musical instrument companies have manufacturing plants. Matsumoto Musical Instrument Manufacturers Association is also the name of a musical instrument.
Racer Accuses 'Street Outlaws: Memphis' Host Of 'Attempting to Kill Him,' Lawsuit Says
When TV viewers in February tuned in to watch Episode 7 of "Street Outlaws: Memphis" premiere -- a crime may have unfolded before their eyes, when the star of the street racing show allegedly brawled with another driver.
Chad Larkin, a street car racer from Missouri, and his wife Genny are accusing Jonathan "JJ Da Boss" Day, the 45-year-old host of the Discovery Channel show, of inciting an assault against him that he believed was going to be fatal.
". Larkin literally believed the Street Outlaws were attempting to kill him. He literally feared for his life," according to a federal civil complaint lodged by Larkin and his wife on Monday at a Memphis federal court which names Day, the Discovery Channel and a North Hollywood, California-based production company Pilgrim Films & Television as defendants.
Day is also accused, in an Affidavit obtained by Newsweek, of inflicting blows against Larkin that allegedly took place as the reality show was filming.
Larkin claimed he was repeatedly "kicked and hit about his head and body" by Day and his several of his associates after defending himself. He said that Day allegedly yelled: "F--- you fat boy, get your own show!" before he was attacked.
The seasoned racer identified Day for the assault after being shown a six-person photo array. Larkin was ultimately hospitalized with a chipped front tooth, and also suffered a busted lip, black eye, herniated disk and torn left meniscus, the document states.
Newsweek's messages to the Discovery Channel, Pilgrim Films & Television and Day's attorney were not immediately returned.
Day and his crew of street racers reached out to Chad Larkin on Facebook challenging him and some other racers to compete in a race for cash. The race would be videotaped and Larkin only had to pony up $1,000.
Larkin accepted the challenge, legal docs said.
If victorious in the races, according to his attorney David Weissman, Larkin could have walked home $30,000 richer.
"He's a skilled racer with over 1,000 races to his name," Weissman told Newsweek. "He was of the mindset that this race was going to be legitimate and he would be on the show to win a legitimate prize."
Producers informed Larkin to respond to the producers with a "guest list" and be in Memphis on Sept. 23, 2017 where he would be texted a clandestine address 30 minutes before, the civil complaint reads.
"Larkin was further advised he could post on social media about the race but that he could not mention 'Street Outlaws' or television likely due to the illegal nature of the event," the civil document notes.
At around 3:30 p.m. on that day, Larkin, who brought along a buddy dressed in a prison jumpsuit, arrived and described the scene in the suit as "a contrived production to create scandal and controversy."
The show producers inspected Larkin's and his fellow challengers' wheels and then gave Larkin a line that would trigger a volley of barbs before a fight ensued.
The camera crew allegedly coached Larkin's prison-attired friend to run up to Day and tell him, "You might be JJ but he's the boss," referring to Larkin, the civil complaint states.
By late evening the cars were lined up in "car show" fashion "with the Memphis Street Outlaws on one side of the road and the invited racers" (that included Larkin) on the opposite side.
The civil document accuses Day of being "hostile and aggressive" in his demeanor from the beginning and setting the table for a rumble when he allegedly told the invited races to "get into the Memphis Street Outlaws' heads" by "talking trash, whatever you [have] to do to get into our heads."
When one of the invited racers approached Day in the center of the road, Day allegedly chewed him out, saying, "What the f--- is on your mind? Why are you stepping out like that," according to the civil complaint.
The first race between Memphis Street Outlaw and an unnamed Texas racer went south.
The complaint describes the driver as leaving before the arm drop start signal as the Texas challenger remained stationary. Day's cohort was supposed to be disqualified as a result.
"This caused Mr. Day to become outraged," the document states. "He began cursing and screaming" before huddling up with his team.
Day, the document alleges, then "instructed his group of racers to pull 'every dirty trick they could,'" and that meant more mind games and "declaring war" on their rivals.
With tensions rising, the Larkins accused producers of doing nothing to stop the fallout and "allow heated emotions to cool down or to take other remedial action."
Instead, the document alleges, the produces who were working on behalf of Discovery were seeking "sensationalistic trash likely to result in violence."
Larkin attempted to stick up for the Texan who held back as racer allegedly jumped the gun in the duel.
"Don't be mad because this guy beat you at your own game," Larkin told Day, according to the complaint.
Larkin was now in Day's crosshairs, the documents suggest, and Day responded: "F--- you fat boy, get your own show," The faceoff caught the interest of the film crew as "two cameras focused on Larkin and Day," the document suggests.
Before the second race took place, Larkin wished the racer challenging one of Day's Outlaw crew "good luck" and the document shows, told him, "Let's all of us out-of-towners pull together as a team and show these Memphis Street Outlaws they aren't as fast as they think they are."
That remark allegedly set Day off. He, along with two of his crew named "Bounty Hunter" and "Mustang Mike," started "cursing at [Larkin]," and the document states they were "attempting to attack" him.
As Larkin was turning around he claims in the document of hearing his wife scream, "Look out!"
Day and "Bounty Hunter" rushed him and allegedly "threw punches at Larking and tackled him to the ground," the complaint details.
Larken reflected back in the document to the excruciating pain in that moment as his left leg's "muscles and tendons were ripping."
Larkin thought his life was being threatened and accused Day and "Bounty Hunter" of "attempting to kill him," according to the complaint.
Larkin's wife Genny claimed that as she tried to break up the scuffle with her husband, a woman member of the Memphis Street Outlaws allegedly "grabbed the back of her head and pulled her to the ground by her hair, resulting in physical and emotional injury," the document states.
The couple also blame the reality show's film crew. While they could have intervened, the Larkins' lawsuit suggests the crew apparently stood by to capture the beatdown for popcorn fodder.
"While the assault was ongoing, the producers of the show made no effort to stop it," the document states. "Rather, the camera crew and producers continued filming&hellip one of the producers instructed a cameraman to get closer and get a better shot."
And when on-set medics who were present along the open stretch of asphalt on Riverport Road dressed as a race track allegedly attempted to attend to Larkin, one producer vetoed, and allegedly told them to "get off [my] set," before guiding a director of photography to "get a good shot of Mr. Larkin's face all bloody," the document states.
Some of the gory footage aired on the episode in what was described by the document as "highly edited fashion."
Day was arrested a month later and booked for aggravated assault charges. He was released on a $30,000 surety bond, court records show.
The case is still pending after a June 27 preliminary hearing was held, where the Larkins were subpoenaed to testify about the alleged attack, a Shelby County Attorney General official told Newsweek.
Day hasn't been formally indicted as evidence is still being presented to a Grand Jury, the official added.
Chad Larkin is seeking compensatory damages "not to exceed $5 million" and punitive damages for the same amount. And Genny Larkin is seeking compensatory damages of $500,000, the civil complaint states.
Memphis II ScStr - History
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