Recent Posts

The Great Payne Who Specialized in Selling Miracle Remedies for Hard to Cure Drugs July 14, 2019 Medical - An ad in a local newspaper dated June 1906 noted that during the past three or four years, almost every large city in the United States was visited by a young man who did things of an astonishing nature. He carried a remedy that worked wonders, becoming known everywhere as "The Great Payne." A notice… Continue Reading
City Provided Questions and Answers about 1954 Trial Vaccine for Polio July 28, 2014 Medical - Many people likely recall the 1952 polio epidemic that spread throughout the nation, paralyzing individuals and putting many in "iron lungs," large machines used to control breathing. Several folks cancelled travel plans for fear of contracting the dreaded disease. Several vaccine tests, developed by Jonas Salk, were administered around the country with encouraging results. On… Continue Reading
Dr. Nat Winston Fondly Remembered as a Noted Psychiatrist, Musician February 24, 2014 Medical - Dr. Nat Winston, Jr., former Johnson City resident, leading psychiatrist, healthcare pioneer, previous Commissioner of Mental Health and a past candidate for governor of Tennessee, passed away peacefully on December 31, 2013. Susan Taylor Carson, a close friend of the Winston family, forwarded me several notes of conversations she had with Nat's widow, Martha Winston. She… Continue Reading
Remembering A Life Changing Experience Caused by Rheumatic Fever November 5, 2012 Medical - In 1947, five local physicians had their practices at 234, 236 and 238 E. Market Street near Tannery Knob (where I-26 now comes through). Doctors George Scholl and Mel Smith were at the first two-story dwelling, doctors Harry Miller and J. Gaines Moss at the second and doctor Ray Mettetal at the third. Unlike the… Continue Reading
In 1874, Johnson Citians Endorsed Rev. Clisbe Austin’s Liver Regulator September 17, 2012 Medical -  In 1873 when Johnson City’s population was about 600, Reverend Clisbe Austin, who listed his address as “Johnson City, Washington County, State of Tennessee,” marketed a U.S non-alcoholic medicinal product known as Austin’s Liver Regulator.  On September 17 that year, the reverend submitted an application for his invention to the United States Patent Office. He… Continue Reading
1915 Staff Editorial Wanted Johnson City to Have a Hospital July 11, 2011 Medical - According to the late Ray Stahl’s book, A Beacon to Health Care, Johnson City’s first hospital opened in 1903 when the National Home for Disabled Soldiers became a reality. Four years later, Dr. W.J. Matthews opened a modest clinic on the first floor of the Carlisle Hotel (Franklin Apartments) at E. Main and Division streets.… Continue Reading
Books of Household Hints Were Fixtures in the Homes of Yesteryear October 19, 2009 Medical - A 1920 booklet titled "Did You Know? - Book of Facts, Household Recipes and other Valuable Information” from the Chattanooga Drug and Chemical Company promoted three health products and at the same time offered 20 pages of interesting reading. The main sales item was Ziron Iron Tonic, a medicine said to prevent diseases, not cure… Continue Reading
Recalling When “Jake Leg” Became a Regional Health Scourge July 14, 2008 Medical - When I was about seven years old, my mother and I were walking in the vicinity of McClure Street just off W. Market and observed a man on the opposite side of the street who appeared to be under the influence. As the hapless high-stepping chap staggered along, one of his feet literally slapped the… Continue Reading
Tuberculosis Sufferers Once Believed to Be “Consumed” March 17, 2008 Medical - There was a time when people suffered from “consumption,” now known as tuberculosis, a debilitating disease that often resulted in certain death for those afflicted. I vividly recall when one of my childhood friend’s father was diagnosed with TB and was sent to a hospital in Greeneville, TN for a prolonged stay and treatment of… Continue Reading
1910 Health Lecture Illustrates Just How Far We Have Progressed October 8, 2007 Medical - Imagine attending a lecture in 1910 at the Hippodrome Opera House at W. Main and Whitney streets. The speaker is Dr. Alvin Davison of Lafayette College lecturing from his latest textbook, Health Lessons, Book 2, American Book Company. His address would likely go something like this:  “Let me commence by presenting some sobering mortality figures… Continue Reading