Dr. John Stith Pemberton
January 18, 2011
Talk about people who are under appreciated for their contribution to the world and Dr. John Stith Pemberton has to be pretty high on the list. If you know who he is, I lift a drink in your honor, because I just learned today that on May 8, 1886, Dr. John, a local pharmacist in Atlanta, Georgia created a syrup that he brought down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where mixed with carbonated water, was sold for five cents a glass. And that, according to their site, was the birth of Coca-Cola.
Pemberton’s bookkeeper Frank M. Robinson was the one who thought the name should have two “C’s” because it would look good in advertising, came up with the name and was the one who wrote out its distinctive logo.
Now before we give Pemberton too much credit for being a genius, before his death he sold off his remaining shares in the product to Asa G. Candler, who got complete control of the company for a grand total of $2,300.
According to their site:
A firm believer in advertising, Mr. Candler expanded on Dr. Pemberton’s marketing efforts, distributing thousands of coupons for a complimentary glass of Coca-Cola. He promoted the product incessantly, distributing souvenir fans, calendars, clocks, urns and countless novelties, all depicting the trademark.
By 1895, three years after incorporation, the company was selling the product in every state and territory.
One more person to mention in this refreshing bit of knowledge is Joseph A. Biedenharn, who in Vicksburg in 1894 installed bottling machinery behind his store and began to sell cases of Coca-Cola to farms and lumber camps. He was the first bottler.
With that in mind, I shall return to my Coca-Cola Cherry Zero knowing that that’s what I learned today, the 18th of January, 347 days remaining in 2011.