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This 1953 photo of the lunch counter at Liggett Drug Store on the corner of 7th and Market streets features a building that is now the headquarters of the United Way of Greater Chattanooga. Photo by Chattanooga Free Press Photographer Bob Sherrill. Contributed by ChattanoogaHistory.com.

Liggett Drug Store, pictured in this 1953 newspaper photograph, was located at the corner of 7th and Market streets for more than 40 years.

Liggett's occupied the building at 630 Market St. from 1920 to 1962. It's now the home of United Way of Greater Chattanooga.

This photo, contributed by ChattanoogaHistory.com, was taken by Chattanooga Free Press photographer Bob Sherrill. ChattanoogaHistory.com is a website featuring vintage images of the city and is curated by local history enthusiast Sam Hall.

The history of Liggett Drug Store in Chattanooga dates to 1920, according to newspaper archives, when the Market Street pharmacy was purchased by the Liggett Drug Co. of New York. Previously, it had been called the Live and Let Live Drug Store, and it had a local owner.

At the time of the purchase, Liggett Drug Co. boasted over 200 locations nationwide, including stores in Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. The company was started by Louis K. Liggett, a former traveling salesman, who founded the chain in 1903.

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Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.

If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives, or original non‐digital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.

 

An article in the Chattanooga News in 1937 explained: "In 1903, [Liggett] outlined a plan to 40 leading druggists in the country whereby retailers could combine their buying, manufacturing and advertising power to create a national market for a line of drug items."

The company supplied its retail stores with soda products, toilet items, rubber goods, stationery, sundries and pharmaceuticals.

A newspaper advertisement placed around the time of the 1920 Chattanooga store opening touted the lunch counter.

"We take particular pride in the quality of our soda, using the very purest products only and maintaining clean, appetizing service," the ad said.

The company also promised that every drink would be served in a "dry, polished glass."

An advertisement from 1920 also listed product prices: toothpaste (39 cents), shaving cream (29 cents), Bicycle playing cards (43 cents), Carter's Liver Pills (17 cents) and Listerine mouthwash (79 cents). A carton of Lucky Strike cigarettes in 1920 cost $1.23.

According to a newspaper report, the Market Street building was remodeled in 1937 to include a "modernistic front with spacious window displays." Air conditioning was also added.

Follow the Remember When, Chattanooga? public group on Facebook.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com.

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