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.

 


Chattanooga's Blues and Jazz Heritage Program is Monday, August 25

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association and the Local History Department of the Public Library invites all to a talk by Dr. Clark White on "Chattanooga's Blues and Jazz Heritage."  The program will be on Monday, August 25th at 6pm at the downtown Chattanooga Public Library. See the accompanying flyer for more information. CAHA events are free and open to the ... (click for more)

Five Tennessee Sites Added to the National Register of Historic Places

The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced five Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The ... (click for more)

Jury Finds In Favor Of Texas Sheriff In Suit Brought By Chattanooga Photographer

A Federal Court jury on Friday found in favor of a Texas sheriff and his chief deputy who had been sued by a Chattanooga photographer. The jury in the courtroom of Judge Curtis Collier awarded no damages to Donna Johnson. In his closing argument after a two-week civil trial, attorney John Anderson said, "This is about the Fourth Amendment." Attorney Anderson represented Ms. ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Mackey Should Be Thankful For The State Troopers On Highway 153

This is in response to a statement made by Warren Mackey at the commission meeting.  His question was to the mayor regarding the state troopers writing tickets on Highway 153, saying they were on a rampage.   It is apparent that Mr. Mackey doesn’t travel this highway.  His only concern was that the ticket money was going into state funds and not into county funds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Must-Read For Parents

If you have a child or if you love one, what you are about to read could be one of the most important lessons in your life. I have a great friend in Dallas – Sandy Pohfal – who regularly shares stories with me that are moving, inspirational or important. This is all three. This story was written by a celebrated author, Christie Craig. She has written hundreds of articles for ... (click for more)