Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by Atlanta pharmacist John S. Pemberton. He created the drink from scratch and eventually distributed it to soda fountains, which were gaining popularity after the end of the Civil War. Coke originally sold for 5 cents per glass.
Pemberton died in 1888, before Coca-Cola had become a commercial success. A man named Asa Griggs Candler took over the Coke business in 1891. He marketed the drink by offering free coupons and calling it a medicine, in addition to a soft drink. In 1898, Candler lost a court battle, and Coca-Cola was marketed as a beverage only.