In 1910, Joseph E. Meyer founded the Indiana Botanic Gardens, Inc. The business began in a small cottage in the rear of his Hammond, Indiana home where he started growing and harvesting plants in a vacant lot. In the beginning, the business barely made living expenses for the family. Meyer’s children assisted him with activities like gathering herbs from nearby fields, packaging boxes, feeding the printing press, and binding catalogs with needle and thread. In 1918, the book,
The Herbalist was printed and business expanded. Following the success of
The Herbalist, a decision was made to create an annual publication. In 1925,
The Herbalist Almanac was brought into publication. This almanac was an eclectic booklet that contained a hodge podge of things from listings of the herbs and roots that the company sold to recipes, Indian weather forecasts, treatments for common ailments, popular songs of the day, advice on farming issues and more. In 1979, after fifty-four years of publication,
The Herbalist Almanac was retired.
In 1879, The Chattanooga Medicine Company was founded by Zeboim Cartter Patten. He was joined by four other charter members including Fred F. Wiehl, H. Clay Evans, Lew Owen and Theodore G. Montague, all well known Chattanooga businessmen. The first product was Thedford's Black Draught, a senna based laxative, originally developed in 1840 by Dr. A.Q. Simmons of Snow Hill, Georgia. With the succes of Black Draught, the Company acquired a second product called Dr. McElree's Wine of Cardui, a preparation or tonic for women based on the sedative and antispasmodic properties of Cnicus benedictus. The Chattanooga Medicine Company was a pioneer in direct marketing with the printing and distribution of millions of Cardui wall calendars and church fans. The most famous promotional piece was
The Ladies Birthday Almanac published by the Company as early as 1891. The almanac contained weather information, important dates and, of course, ads for all of the Chattanooga Medicine Company products.