The Brief History of Coca-cola
John Pemberton was a pharmacist for nearly twenty years when he began to experiment with different natural products to try and create a health elixir. Pemberton had attended college for herbal medicine prior to pharmacology school, and he was very knowledgeable about the benefits of health tonics.
In the early 1860’s, it was already quite common for the pharmacist to offer health elixirs at their shop from a soda fountain. Many pharmacies had their own special blend, each offering different health benefits.
Pemberton began experimenting with extracts from the Kola nut and the coca leaf. Eventually he found a taste that he liked and began marketing his product as “French Wine Coca.” The product was met with success almost instantly. Pemberton had three other partners that he worked with at the pharmacy and on the elixir. One of his partners quickly renamed the product Coca Cola, trademarked the name and logo, and began a marketing campaign.
The Health Drink
At first, Coke was marketed as a health elixir that gave you vitality, energy, and could even make you more attractive to the other sex. It was said to be a great way to improve your health without visiting a doctor. People from all over the state of Georgia began traveling into Atlanta to buy some of this miracle drink.
By 1890, the brand and recipe was sold to another druggist who began making Coke syrup and selling it to be mixed at drug store counters with carbonated water. The new owner of the company was very religious and started marketing the product as the perfect alternative to alcohol. It was very successful and the drink started being offered all over the state.
Within ten years, the rights to the company were purchased once more, and the new company began bottling the product for resale at grocery stores. The distribution of the product was now possible throughout the United States, and it became the leading non-alcoholic beverage sold.
During World War II, many Europeans were introduced to the drink by GI’s that had Coke shipped from home. After the war, a large demand for the product came from overseas and the company quickly became an international entity.
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