Coca Cola

Photo 1: Advertisement for "The New & Popular Fountain Drink containing the Tonic Properties of the wonderful COCA PLANT and the famous COLA NUT"
Photo 2: Hilda Clark's Endorsement of Coca-Cola, circa 1900
Photo 3: Early Coca-Cola Bottle
Photo 4: Coca-Cola Clock, a premium for high volume fountains
Photo 5: retrieved from on August 5th, 2013.
Video 1: Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way: Cocaine

To early Coca-Cola drinkers it was "dope". While its kick may have been folklore, America's favorite soft drink once was "the real thing". When Dr. John Styth Pemberton's concoction was first dispensed from an Atlanta soda fountain on May 8, 1886, it was a mixture of water and coca-laced syrup. Fizz came later. Coca-Cola's "brain tonic" aimed at the temperance market, was first bottled in 1894. The containers, like the circa 1900 bottle at right, had corks that popped when pulled- thus the name coda pop. Cocaine was removed from Coke in 1903, after a presidential commission drew attention to "the baneful effect of the powerful habit-forming drugs" in many soft drinks.

- p. 60, Cocaine: America's 100 Years of Euphoria and Despair in Life Magazine (May 1984)

Probably the first of Mariani's American imitators was John Styth Pemberton of Atlanta, Georgia, the proprietor of Triplex Liver Pills and Globe of Flower Cough Syrup, who in 1886 introduced a new product to his line: French Wine Coca- Ideal Nerve and Tonic Stimulant. Pemberton's wine was a frank takeoff on Mariani's product but connoisseurs of the time pronounced Mariani's product a noticeably superior concoction. Undaunted, in 1886 Pemberton introduced a syrup containing cocaine and caffeine to be used as the basis of a "soft" drink. The syrup, Coca-Cola, was advertised as a "remarkable therapeutic agent" and "sovereign remedy". It continued as a cocaine-based drink until 1903, when the pressure applied by Southerners who feared blacks' [sic] getting cocaine in any form and by those seeking passage of a pure food and drug act led the manufacturer to omit cocaine.

-pp. 59-60, Cocaine: Its History, Uses and Effects by Richard Ashley (1976)

Related Articles:

Coca-Cola Clock
Vintage Coca Cola with Cocaine Advertisement
Early Coca-Cola Bottle
Hilda Clark Coca-Cola Endorsement