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“More than I expected”

The Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange
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$10.00*
and up
Memphis Cotton Museum Admission and Audio Walking Tour
Ranked #38 of 156 things to do in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed July 24, 2013

The museum is more than I expected but I wanted so see he process on how they make cotton on my very eyes and not just on the t.v screen and the displays. The museum is very neatly organized, one room is the trading room they used long tome ago, and the artifacts are still there and the board where they do the count per day is still there. There is also a video that will I deduce you to the factory. The next room explains how they die the cotton and. How the cotton is made to jeans and t-shirts.

Thank ChantelPickett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 - 137 of 193 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2013

This museum was neatly organized, but was very sterile in my eyes. I possibly expected too much or expected more interaction. I wanted to learn a lot about the cotton industry and how it affected the south. There are photos and displays on the cotton industry, the music and more. Small museum with a price that is too much for what is offered.

Thank Sandy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

If you're in the Delta, you cannot overlook the historical importance of cotton. Indeed, the Delta was a fairly unproductive worthless swamp until it was realized how well cotton would grow. This product turned the fortunes of the region around, bringing in investment, railroads, wealth, and slavery. To understand the South, and to understand America, you need to understand cotton.

This museum makes a valiant attempt to make those connections, and all things considered, they do a pretty good job at making a subject like cotton and turning it into something interesting. The main part of the museum is a giant "cotton exchange" where they show you the trading floor where cotton prices from around the world were displayed. Inside the standard glass cases are exhibits ranging from discussions about how cotton is grown, harvested, bundled, sold, and used.

It's all the regular museum stuff; glass cases with artifacts (some real, most reproductions) with little text tags detailing what is going on. There are a few phone booths (designed to replicate what traders would have used to phone or telegraph their purchases) with videos about the cotton industry. They're not boring, but not fascinating either.

The other room at the museum is the unfortunate byproduct of this country's decision to not fund museums, meaning that corporations have chosen to underwrite them...at a price. Thus, we get some sort of exploration hall, sponsored by Cargill or some other agrobusiness conglomerate. While the room is designed to teach kids all the neat things about cotton, it's also a fairly attempt by a major corporation to advertise their "awesome" products. A similar theme is seen in the Monsanto Classroom, another example of where America has decided to sell education to the highest bidder.

Besides those two disappointing aspects, the museum is worth seeing if you have an hour or so to kill in Memphis. But given how important this crop is in the history of America, it really deserves better.

2  Thank Graham L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

This museum does an excellent job in opening the window on a previous era of Memphis and reminds you of the significance that cotton played in the development of this city.

The exhibits are done well and clearly explain the industry and its impact, both economically and socially on the city.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it assisted in better understanding of Memphis and what made it tick.

Thank Geddes_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

A detailed & well presented exhibition showing the history using real examples & photos of tools, cotton in various stages, uses of cotton, plant life cycle, crop dusters, exchange booths & stock board. There is a history of how cotton has changed lives.
Another section is hands on especially good for children.
Great visit in an historic building.

1  Thank Clio H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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