2012-05-17 / News

Cardui Calendars cease production

BY CHAD WILSON

After 122 years, the popular Cardui Calendar and Ladies Birthday Almanac, that was available for free for more than 40 years at Copeland’s Chandler Drug, is hanging on its last nail.

The manufacture has announced the 2012 version will be the last.

“We feel it is our duty to inform you, the loyal customers over the existence of these two publications, of our intentions to discontinue the Cardui Calendar and Ladies Birthday Almanac due to declining market demand,” a release sent to distributors said. “I am sure you can understand that every service must have a viable commercial basis to continue operating and, unfortunately, while the Cardui Calendar and Ladies Birthday Almanac were so beloved by loyal customers like you, they were not generating the revenue necessary to continue these businesses.”

The only copy that remains at Chandler Drug is the one the store uses behind the counter. The popular item was scooped up once released.

“These calendars were free for over 40 years. We had to start charging a dollar for more than one,” Chandler Drug employee Dana Parks said. “There was an almanac that went with the calendar and many farmers used it faithfully to plant their gardens or go fishing. We have sent the calendars to Germany, Japan and England to some of our customers in the service. They will be greatly missed.”

The Chattanooga Medicine Company was a pioneer in direct marketing with the printing and distribution of millions of the Cardui wall calendars. According to the company’s website, chattem.com, the most famous of all promotional pieces 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.

The almanac, along with the popularity of the company’s products, generated a massive amount of correspondence between the company and its customers. Although many of the publications were distributed through the retail trade, millions of them were distributed through the mail.

In fact, so great was the volume of mail that the company soon found itself the largest generator of mail in the entire Chattanooga area. The sheer volume of correspondence forced the United States Post Office to open a dedicated post office on the company’s premises.

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