Labor Day Memories of Chattanooga Medicine Company

Saturday, August 31, 2013 - by Harmon Jolley

On Labor Day, we celebrate workers and the value produced by our labors. The Bible recognizes the importance of our career choice, and of doing well in our work,  in Ecclesiates 9:10.

Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you're going.

Last year over Labor Day weekend, I shared with Memories readers a portion of a pictorial history of American Lava.  Both my mother and my uncle had worked at the local plants on Williams Street and on Manufacturers Road. 

This year, the workplace scene is the Chattanooga Medicine Company in St. Elmo, with the photographs being found in a seventy-fifth anniversary booklet from 1954.

Chattanooga Medicine is today known as Chattem.   Their history may be found at http://chattem.com/about01.asp.  The company was founded in 1879 by Zeboim Cartter Patten.

Though workers have made many other products over the years, the Black Draught, Cardui, and Soltice medications are known from advertisements on the Porter Waggoner show.

If you have memories of any of the subjects of these images from Chattanooga Medicine, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.  Also, if you have old photographs of Chattanooga’s workers at work, please contact me.

Reader Feedback

Both my mother and aunt worked at Chattanooga Medicine when they were young.  I gathered from them that was "the place" to work then.  My mother also played on the tennis team and won a small silver tray.  I don't know what happened to it,  but I remember seeing that little tray when I was a child (long time ago).  My grandfather had deserted my grandmother when my mother was about 2 or 3. There apparently wasn't much work for older women like my grandmother, so  all 4 of the children had to work to support the family as soon as they were able.

 


Chester Martin Remembers The Chattanooga And Hamilton County Interstate Fair

It was the best fair in the world! Period! The driving force behind its popularity and success was a lady named Olive Atwood. She was a master of co-ordination to bring all the elements together for each of the very many years. Warner Park was always the venue. All I can do here is describe things I remember best about its physical "look." I am thinking now of a wonderfully ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers Some Popular Music From Way Back

When we marched to chapel at Anna B. Lacey grammar school in 1941, Principal Mrs. Ethel Stroud played the marches of John Philip Sousa on an ancient acoustic "Victrola." When we "danced the Maypole" at our Mayday festivals we performed our dances to Swedish folk music played by the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. In 4th grade, we learned some songs of World War 1, such as, "When ... (click for more)

Arrests Made In Connection With Fire At Brainerd Trophy Shop

Fire investigators Captain Moore and Captain McElvain made two arrests Friday night in connection with the fire at the Brainerd Trophy Shop that occurred  on Friday  morning. Gene Wegg and Pamela McNabb, have been arrested and charged with arson by the Chattanooga Fire Department. The two allegedly broke into the Brainerd Trophy Shop and set fire to the building, ... (click for more)

TBI Case Leads To Charges For Woman In Death Of Whitwell Boy

A joint investigation by special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Whitwell Police Department has resulted in charges for a Whitwell woman in connection to the death of her boyfriend’s son. At the request of 12 th  District Attorney J. Michael Taylor, TBI apecial agents began investigating the death of six-year-old Lucas Michael Dillon on March 29, ... (click for more)

The City I Used To Know

“They Dead”, the innocent young voice said as tears began streaming from my eyes.  Foolishness that didn’t involve him snatched away his childhood in the blink of an eye.  Why?  Why has my city become known more for gangs and violence than the River Front, Lookout Mountain, and a fun little theme park?  What happened to hot summers at Lake Winnie, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Stick Of Dynamite

You may have seen the Tennessee Legislature jumped on the bandwagon to send “an atomic bomb” to Washington this week. The “bomb” makes Tennessee the fifth state to adopt a Convention of the States Project that will hopefully limit the power and the jurisdiction of federal government. The official wording is “to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power ... (click for more)