A visionary, John A. Patten also saw the vast and unexplored opportunities for product sales in foreign countries as early as 1911 when he established a flourishing business in Central and South America. He was a man of unlimited energy and broad interests, he was responsible for the Company becoming a charter member of the United States Chamber of Commerce. He also served in many positions outside the Company such as president of The Tennessee River Navigation Company. Despite all that he did for the Company, his obituary noted that perhaps his greatest achievement in his short 48 years was his passionate interest in the improvement of navigation along the Tennessee River long before the creation of Tennessee Valley Authority in 1931.

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