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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                 SINCLAIR SARTORIUS JACOBS

INTERVIEWER:            UNKNOWN

LOCATION:                  ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                          UNKNOWN

Transcript (PDF)

Biography

Sinclair Sartorius Jacobs (October 27, 1888 – July 3, 1977) was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Dr. Joseph Jacobs and Claire (Sartorius) Jacobs. He had one brother, Wilifred Lasker Jacobs—who died at 13—and a stepmother, Elizabeth Jacobs. Sinclair was married to Muriel H. F. Jacobs, and they had one child, Tory Jacobs.

Sinclair’s father opened Athens Pharmaceutical Company in 1879, in Athens, Georgia. He moved his business to downtown Atlanta in 1884 when he purchased Taylor’s Pharmacy, and Jacobs’ Pharmacy soon became one of the leading pharmacies in Atlanta.

Sinclair, also a druggist, worked with his father at Jacobs’ Pharmacy after graduating from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (the same school his father attended) in 1909. The business continued to grow, and at the time of his father’s death in 1929, had expanded to eight stores in the Greater Atlanta area. Sinclair stayed on after his father’s passing, and continued to grow the business until there were 21 stores across the South. He ultimately sold Jacobs’ Pharmacy to Revco Drugs and retired in 1942.

Scope

Sinclair describes his father’s early career with Athens Pharmaceutical Company, and as an apprentice to Dr. Crawford W. Long. He talks about the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy where both he and his father earned their degrees, and his father’s admiration for the works of Robert Burns; Dr. Joseph Jacobs was founder of The Burns Club of Atlanta, and he and Sinclair were longtime members.

Sinclair shares memories of growing up in downtown Atlanta, his connections to his extended family, and the loss of his brother Wilifred, who died during an appendectomy at the age of 13. He describes details of the Jacobs’ Pharmacy business including how his father was one of the first druggists to offer discounted prices. The soda fountain at Jacobs’ Pharmacy in downtown Atlanta was also where Coca-Cola was served for the first time as a fountain drink in 1886.

He describes being part of the Atlanta Jewish community, his years at The Temple, connections to places like Rich’s Department Store and the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills, and memories of the historic Leo Frank trial. Throughout the interview he reflects on the many changes he has seen and lived through over his long life.

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