Well holey socks and darn 'em! I completely forgot to post this piece on Tuesday. I think it ironic that the man who first concocted Coca-Cola sold the formula for a relative pittance. I do suppose things like that have happened over the eons past. Herewith the piece:
As The Writer’s Almanac tells us, on this day, March 29th, in 1886, 130 years ago, John Pemberton perfected a headache and hangover remedy he’d cooked up. Previous to Atlanta passing a prohibition on alcohol, he’d made his elixir with wine. Now he had to sweeten it with sugar, and had to change its name. Thus the formula went from being “Pemberton’s French Wine Coca”, to the now almost universally known name “Coca-Cola”.
In the bygone days of the unrestricted, unregulated and often deadly use of what are now controlled substances like opium and cocaine, it was normal to have available to the general public products that contained the base of the refined substances. In this instance, it is cola leaves from which comes the refined cocaine. Even in their basic leaf state, coca leaves are stimulants. Coca-Cola continued to contain cocaine, in one quantity or another, until 1929.
Unfortunately for Pemberton, who claimed the drink cured everything from dyspepsia and impotence to morphine addiction, once the alcohol prohibition was repealed he thought the product a dud and sold off the formula. Little did he know! His son did keep control of the name for a while, but history, buy-outs, and business tactics, shady and otherwise, resulted in the Candler family ultimately profiting from the success of the now ubiquitous beverage.
Coca-Cola is said to be everything from an aircraft engine cleaner to a rust remover, from a pesticide to a spermicide. It is used as everything from a breakfast food to a shoe shiner. The Coca-Cola Company itself produces only the concentrated syrups, including those in regular, diet, caffeine-free, no-calorie, and flavored versions, which are sold to bottlers worldwide. In your travels, you may not be able to read the name in Russian, Mandarin or Urdu, but you will surely recognize the red label and wavy lettering that are instantly recognizable as Coca-Cola.