Tag Archives: Market Street

Early Air Conditioner


Back before the now ubiquitous air conditioning units became common on business rooftops, these structures dominated.  This unit, which used to be on top of the Variety Printing building (formerly one of two downtown locations of Mack Ray Cafeteria…the other was on Commerce Street in the old Harry Mills Motors, across from WKPT), cooled the inside air by evaporation. Inside this louvered, wooden structure was a coiled pipe through which air was pumped.  Water was sprayed over the coil, thus cooling the air by evaporation.  Something akin to the effect you’d get from a wet t-shirt, if the only reason you were wearing a wet t-shirt was to cool off. And if you had a breeze of some sort.
At any rate, I would often get lightly sprinkled with water walking down the alley, if the breeze (mentioned before) was blowing the right direction.
Why was I in the alley?  Going around to Wallace News, of course.
Note the (ha!) stabilizing wires.  Such strength.

Porterfield City Feed


This is 469 West Sullivan Street.  In 1959, this was Porterfield City Feed Company, next to City Poultry and Egg Company.  CP&ECo was on the corner of Sullivan and what was then Island Street (It’s now Mission Street).  The buildings are currently derelict.

When I was a kid, I had a paper route in downtown Kingsport.  One year, the Kingsport Times-News, then located on Market Street, held some sort of contest and I ended up winning a certificate for a turkey from CP&Eco, just in time for Thanksgiving.  It was, as I recall, a mingy turkey, but it was quite welcome, since my stepdad wasn’t having a particularly good year.  My stepdad never had a particularly good year.