Tag Archives: Kingsport Rotary Club

Another Kingsport Book

Published shortly after 1962, this 9″x12″ unpaginated book was wholly a product of Kingsport.  Paper by Mead, binding fabrics by Holliston Mills, and with typography, printing and binding by Kingsport Press.  It was authored by Ben Haden and designed by J. Fred Wright.
The book has no copyright date, but I couldn’t find any date in the text past 1962.  I assume it was produced as a promotional piece for the far-ranging Kingsport  boosters (there were many).  It features some interesting pictures, along with bios of the prominent men – and only men – of the time.  There’s also a fine picture of Charlie Deming of WKPT-AM.  Although he was basically a morning personality and sometimes sports announcer, he’s shown working a mike at the passenger side door of the station mobile unit.  Marty must have been out of town…

The Kingsport Rotary Club has been a major force in keeping a published record of Kingsport as it grew.  Their first 4.5″x7″ book “Kingsport Tennessee City of Industry Schools Churches Homes” (green cover) was published in 1937.

The second book “Kingsport Tennessee The Planned Industrial City” (blue cover) came out in 1946.

The third book (tan cover), with the same title as the 1946 book, was published in 1951.  It was edited by Bill Freehoff, who was then with the Kingsport Times-News.  (He was working in the news department at Holston Valley Broadcasting when I hired on there in 1967)

In my opinion, the best book about Kingsport’s history is Margaret Ripley Wolfe’s “Kingsport Tennessee A Planned American City” (1987, University of Kentucky Press).  It can be a trifle arid at times, but she writes well and handles the material in good order.

Lest I forget: “KINGSPORT A Romance of Industry” by Howard Long, came out in 1928.  Published by The Sevier Press, Kingsport, Tennessee, it’s not a scholarly piece, but is worth reading, if only for the sense of optimism that prevailed in these few years preceding the Great Depression.

Kingsport Chamber handout



This is a 10-page (plus cover & back), Kingsport Chamber of Commerce (A. B. Coleman, Executive Vice-President) piece from 1957.  Its cover matches a 1948 one I have in all but color: the 1948 one has a green fill.  And the 1948 one was published by the Kingsport Rotary Club, this one was done by the Chamber.  Ellis Binkley worked on both of them.  Both printed by Franklin Printing Company (up on Main Street…it always smelled great, of paper, of ink…the same smell a newspaper building should have).  Quite a few black-and-white photos in both of these…some duplicated, but others showing the passage of nine years.

The 1948 issue has a map on the back cover.  I never knew that Highway 11 (now the Robert E. Lee Highway)(Stone Drive, of course) was known as the “Broadway of America Highway”.  Wikipedia neglects to mention this.

Both pieces, though, are pretty much textbook promotion handouts for that post-war period.
Remember, it’s said that Chicago isn’t called “The Windy City” because of its weather, but for its indefatigable promoters.