Coca-Cola, also known as Coke, is a carbonated soft drink produced by the Coca-Cola Company. It was invented in the late nineteenth century in Atlanta, Georgia, by John Stith Pemberton as a temperance drink and patent medicine. But do you know how many drinks this company sells in a day?
Over 1.9 billion servings of Coca-Cola bottled beverages are consumed daily in over 200 countries.
The Birth of Coca-Cola
Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, made the syrup for Coca-Cola and brought a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced excellent, and sold for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink.
On May 8, 1886, the product that has given the world its most famous taste was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, made the syrup for Coca-Cola and brought a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced “excellent,” and sold for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink.
Carbonated water was combined with the new syrup to create a Delicious and Refreshing Drink. A theme still heard wherever Coca-Cola is consumed.
Dr. Pemberton’s partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, suggested the name and penned the now-famous trademark Coca-Cola in his unique script, thinking that the two Cs would look well in advertising.
The Atlanta Journal published the first Coca-Cola advertisement, inviting thirsty citizens to try the new and popular soda fountain drink. Hand-painted oil cloth signs reading Coca-Cola appeared on store awnings, with the suggestion “Drink” added to inform passersby that the new beverage was for soda fountain refreshment. Sales averaged nine drinks per day during the first year. (Source: Coca-Cola Company)
Why Did John Pemberton Sell His Rights to Coca-Cola?
Dr. Pemberton was utterly unaware of the beverage’s potential. He gradually sold off pieces of his company to numerous partners until he died in 1888.
Pemberton became very sick and nearly bankrupt shortly after Coca-Cola was introduced to the market. He began selling the rights to his medicine to his Atlanta business associates, ill and desperate. He was motivated to sell since he still suffered from expensive morphine addiction.
Pemberton had a hunch that his recipe would someday become a national drink; therefore, he tried to keep a piece of the company to pass down to his son.
However, Pemberton’s son desired the money, so in 1888, Pemberton and his son sold the remaining share of the patent to Asa Griggs Candler, an Atlanta pharmacist, for US$1,750, which is equivalent to $47,230 in 2020 purchasing power. (Source: Coca-Cola Company)
Coca-Cola and its Affiliation to Red Cross
The Coca-Cola Company first collaborated with The Red Cross. Throughout World War I, the Coca-Cola system ran annual Red Cross drive campaigns that lasted more than a decade. This partnership is still strong today and has been critical to the company’s involvement in disaster relief over the years. (Source: Coca-Cola Company)
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