Who Invented Coca-Cola?


Quick Answer

John Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, created and sold the drink known as Coca-Cola in 1886. The formula had been in the making for over 20 years, however.

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Full Answer

A lieutenant colonel during the Civil War, Pemberton had been severely wounded during the Battle of Columbus. Like many other wounded soldiers, he used morphine as a means to stop chronic pain and became addicted. Using his knowledge as a pharmacist, Pemberton sought a way to treat his addiction without opiates. He finally settled on a wine that used the cola nut as well as the coca plant, from which cocaine is derived.

Because of the temperance movement in Georgia in the late 1880s, Pemberton had to create a non-alcoholic version of his wine. He ended up marketing his new formula as a fountain drink rather than a medicine, calling it Coca-Cola. It wasn't until the year 1905 that cocaine was removed from the formulation.

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