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.

 


History Center and Outdoor Chattanooga Present A Sunset Kayak History Tour through the Gorge

The Chattanooga History Center will partner with Outdoor Chattanooga to offer two special sunset kayak tours through the Tennessee River Gorge on August 11 and August 25, 2015 beginning at 7:00 PM. The kayak tour will be led by experienced Outdoor Chattanooga river guides. The CHC’s Senior Educator, Caroline Sunderland, will narrate the city’s history with the gorge. Join ... (click for more)

History Center Presents Walking Tour on Main Street

The Chattanooga History Center will present Southside: Historically Speaking, a walking tour, on August 4, 2015, at 6:00 PM. The tour, led by Senior Educator Caroline Sunderland, will begin at the corner of Main Street and Market Street.  Join us as we gain a deeper historical picture of Chattanooga's Southside from its days as Montgomery Avenue through its recent ... (click for more)

Thousands Line Route For Funeral Procession Of Sailor Slain In Chattanooga Shooting; Wife Sings Song At Funeral She Was Singing When They Met

Thousands of people waving flags and signs again lined the streets and highways of Chattanooga for the second of two local funerals for military personnel slain by a gunman on July 16. And at the funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith, his wife, Angie, sang the song she was singing the first time they met. She said she was singing "You say it best when ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Declared He Was "An Innocent Man" On Child Pornography Charges Gets Conviction, 24-Year Sentence Overturned

The Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a Chattanooga man who claimed at his trial and sentencing that he was wrongfully convicted by a jury of possession and distribution of child pornography. James Paul Lowe had been sentenced in May to serve 24 years in federal prison. After the sentencing, he had bid his family goodbye and told them to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Could Obama Win Again?

When President Barack Obama spoke to the African Union yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he made a pretty brash statement: “I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he told the African leaders. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.” While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t think that’s true. Obviously, term limits keep Obama from running, but as I sit ... (click for more)