Pharmaceutical Industry In North Carolina
Lincolnton (N.C.) Laboratory
   North Carolina has become home to a significant segment of today's pharmaceutical industry. But the origins of the pharmaceuticals in the state dates back to the Civil War.
Two medical laboratories were established by the Confederacy to produce a wide range of medical drugs during the conflict. 

   The pharmaceutical industry in North Carolina got its start when the Confederacy needed to find sources for medical supplies. Of seven medical  laboratories that were created during the Civil War, two were in North Carolina and another was located in South Carolina.
   The following is excerpts from a letter written near the end of the conflict.
Surgeon-General's Office,
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, February 9th, 1865.
   Sir-In reply to the circular of the 7th instant, from your office, I have the honor to submit the following report: ...
   Foreseeing the many and great difficulties to be encountered in procuring medical supplies from foreign countries through the blockade, attention was given at an early day to the establishment of medical laboratories, and the manufacture of medicines at Lincolnton, North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, Macon and Atlanta, Georgia, and Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama. While these laboratories have been engaged more especially in the manufacture of medicines, heretofore universally procured from abroad, great attention has been given to the manufacture of indigenous remedies, which are now administered by medical officers, in lieu of medicines of foreign origin, with favorable results.
   The Confederate Surgeon General Samuel Preston Moore hired Dr. Aaron Snowden Piggot (1822 - Feb. 13, 1869) in 1862 to establish a medical laboratory to manufacture medicines for Confederate troops. Piggot was appointed on July 19, 1862 as Superintendent of Laboratories at Richmond's medical purveying department. The new laboratory was suggested to be placed in Charlotte, North Carolina.

   In late 1862, officers in the Charlotte medical purveying depot set up some sort of a medical laboratory in a building on the grounds of the North Carolina Military Institute in Charlotte. Thus, Piggot was freed to choose another location for his medical manufacturing facility (or laboratory). 
   Charlotte surgeon and medical purveyor advertised in April 21, 1863, in the Western Democrat newspaper for supplies.

   By April 1863, Dr. Piggot had decided to locate the manufacturing operation about 2 miles south of Lincolnton, NC, on the bank of the South Fork of the Catawba River. At this location, textile mills had been built and operated since 1819. Piggot got his official assignment as surgeon at the Lincolnton Laboratory site on June 1, 1863.
   Piggot's clerk, T. S. Beckwith, Jr., procured supplies and men to work in the medical laboratory. Beckwith had flax and poppies planted to produce flaxseed or linseed oil and opiates. Previous textile mill structures at this site were burned in 1863. New structures for the laboratory were readied by Fall 1863. The first laboratory building was oblong and built of bricks. The machinery was powered by water.
   The Lincolnton Laboratory eventually was composed of a reverberatory furnace, mill, kiln and leaden chambers. Equipment formerly used at the Charlotte laboratory was transferred to the Lincolnton Laboratory.
   After the war, the Lncolnton Laboratory ceased operations. Later, the Lincolnton Laboratory (Cotton) Mill took over the site for textile operations.


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