Artifact of the Month: Mantel clock given to 1922 School of Pharmacy alumna

This Artifact of the Month post highlights a mantel clock given to School of Pharmacy alumna Adeline Bush Bradshaw Pegram. The Bulova clock’s face features a metal relief of the Old Well circumscribed by the University’s name. The donor believes that this clock was given to Addie Bradshaw at the time of her graduation in 1922; however the name plate at the base of the clock includes the recipient’s married name, which seems to indicate that the gift was presented at a later date. The clock’s original mechanics have been replaced with electric parts.

In the 1922 Yackety Yack, Adeline Bradshaw of Lenoir, North Carolina is described as “a regular good sport.” According to Anderson’s 1983 Heritage of Caldwell County, Volume I, Bradshaw played on the University’s first female basketball team, which was “only allowed to play on an outdoor graveled court” (p. 457). The volume also alleges that Bradshaw was the only girl in her class and the first woman to graduate from UNC’s School of Pharmacy, which could have possibly inspired the presentation of the mantel clock. The Yackety Yack appears to contradict this claim though since Beatrice Averitt of Fayetteville was also a member of the School of Pharmacy’s class of 1922. Averitt and Bradshaw served together as Pharmacy School representatives in the UNC Woman’s Association during the 1921-1922 school year.

After graduating from the School of Pharmacy at the age of 21, Addie returned to Lenoir and worked in Ballew’s Pharmacy. She met a recent State College graduate who worked at the Caldwell Creamery and married Calvin Winchester Pegram in 1923; they had four daughters. The family moved to Blacksburg, Virginia where Calvin was a professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (commonly known as Virginia Tech). At some point, the family returned to North Carolina and lived in the Triangle area. Calvin was appointed chief of the dairy division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture by Governor Kerr Scott, and Addie owned and managed a drug store in Apex. Anderson’s book claims that “many farm families came to her for medical advise [sic] and assistance” (p. 457). Addie passed away on October 17, 1987 at the age of 87. The true origin of her mantel clock remains unknown, but her contribution to the University’s legacy carries on.

8 thoughts on “Artifact of the Month: Mantel clock given to 1922 School of Pharmacy alumna”

  1. This is actually my grandmother and her clock. She was an incredible person/grandmother/role model.Would there be any opportunity to obtain the clock for the family for a donation?
    Thanks for any consideration related to this.
    Becky Wolfe

  2. Ms. Wolfe,
    I’m glad that you stumbled upon the post about your grandmother and her clock by my colleague Frances McVay. Your grandmother sounds like quite an individual.

    The clock was donated to us by an individual who says he purchased it from a member of your grandmother’s family. We’re very pleased to have the clock among our collection and to share it with visitors from around the state and, really, the world. Even if it was an item that we wanted to sell (and it’s not), we’re prohibited from doing so by state regulations.

    Come and visit the North Carolina Collection Gallery. If you let us know in advance, we’ll make sure that we have the clock ready for you to view.

    John

  3. I am curious as to why you refer to her as the first woman graduate in pharmacy in 1922 when I have my great grandmother’s diploma in that field in the same city, state, and university but it is dated 1921.

  4. Hi Erin,
    Thanks for your comment. It’s always risky assigning superlatives. When we do so, we attribute them to a source. My colleague Frances McVay writes that Anderson’s 1983 Heritage of Caldwell County, Volume I, labels Adeline Bradshaw Pegram as the first female to earn a pharmacy degree. But Frances notes that the Caldwell County history may be incorrect. As she points out, the UNC yearbook for 1921-1922, the Yackety Yack, lists two female graduates. Your grandmother’s 1921 degree further supports our belief that Heritage of Caldwell County is incorrect.

  5. Addie Pegram was my Dad’s sister and the inspiration for my brother, Foy Bradshaw and I to become pharmacists. She was a wonderful woman, pharmacist and a terrific aunt and inspiration.

  6. Clocks like this were sold by colleges and university alumnae associations around 1980-81. I received one that appears identical to this except for the center disk, which has a relief of Burruss Hall, a building from my alma mater, Virginia Tech. I graduated in 1979, and my parents purchased and gave the clock to me in 1980. The battery-powered movement would have been original to the clock, not a replacement for a mechanical movement.

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