The Memphis Cotton Exchange has been located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, at the corner of Front Street and Union Avenue since 1922. It was founded in 1874 as a result of the growing cotton market in Memphis. Cotton merchants of the time became aware of the need for a trade organization to regulate cotton marketing in the city. Once established, the Exchange produced rules and regulation on cotton trading and set standards for buying and pricing cotton in Memphis and the Mid-South. The Exchange continues to act as a rule-making body for international cotton trading and also conducts trade arbitrations.
Cotton trading was originally done on the first floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange Building and only members of the Exchange were allowed entrance. In 1978 the trading floor was closed in favor of computer trading. The historic floor has since then been remodeled and is now home to The Cotton Museum and is used to educate the public about the industry and agriculture of cotton that helped build the city of Memphis in its early years.
If you’d like to learn more about the Cotton Museum or plan a tour, please visit their website: memphiscottonmuseum.org.