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.

 


Signal Mountain Genealogical Society Presents Book

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society presented the book Order of First Families of North Carolina Registry of Ancestors by John R. Brayton, The book contains research information from the days when Tennessee made up the western-most portion of North Carolina.  Many of the residents of Signal Mountain can trace their families to that time and location.  Betty Fassnacht, ... (click for more)

TSLA Releases a New Digital Collection Showcasing Tennessee Folklife

What do roley hole marbles, white oak baskets, shape-note singing, and banjoes have in common? All are examples of Tennessee folk culture or "folkways" available online in the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ newest digital collection: "Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project Collection, 1979-1984." The collection documents folk culture unique to Tennessee and highlights Tennessee's ... (click for more)

Bradley County Police Investigating Shooting

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Georgetown Road.  A BCSO officer was waved down at the intersection of 25 th Street and Peerless Road by the driver of a vehicle who told the officer a gunshot victim was inside. The officer followed the car to SkyRidge Medical Center. Several people soon arrived at the ... (click for more)

Police Investigating An Armed Robbery On Friday Night At UTC

UTC Police are investigating with the Chattanooga City Police an armed robbery in Lot 4 near Boling Apartments on Friday night. The suspects are described as two black men.  One was six feet tall, wearing a navy jacket, with medium skin tone and short hair.  The other suspect was reported to be 5’ 7”, wearing blue jeans and a long white T-shirt. The second suspect ... (click for more)

Don't Allow Us To Be Overrun By People Who Do Not Belong Here - And Response (6)

Thank you, Senator Corker, for your clear, concise evaluation of the president's attempt to bypass Congress and personally and independently establish national policy that violates our current immigration laws.   Our long-standing failure to enforce our laws to control illegal immigration across our southern border has made this country less safe and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Tubman Goat-Roping

Every spring there comes a bright day on the ranch when the straw-boss decrees a goat-roping should take place. What really happens is the veteran cowboys arm the greenhorns with some lariats late in the afternoon and take them to the pen that holds some Billy goats. This is before they get into bigger beasts -- horses and cattle – yet what appears to be easy most certainly is not. ... (click for more)