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Monday, April 29, 2013

The Magnificent Dr. Pemberton

It seems almost odd how un-famous Dr. John Pemberton is.  Dr. Pemberton made only one major contribution to modern society, but its a doozy.  Dr. Pemberton invented the one liquid that has managed to bypass water in popularity:  Coca-Cola.

There is much about Dr. Pemberton that most people do not know.  He was a confederate soldier that returned from battle with a horrific bayonet wound.  Due to his wound he became addicted to Morphine.  As a pharmacist by trade Pemberton sought to cure his addiction.  The good doctor's early version of Coca-Cola contained both Alcohol and Cocaine.  I'm sure the combination of liquor, caffeine and cocaine was helpful to many morphine addicts.

Pemberton was forced to remove the alcohol due to local anti-liquor laws.  Fortunately, they were no local anti-cocaine laws at the time.

Pemberton originally marketed Coca-Cola as a snake-oil-esque wellness tonic that specialized in treating hysteria in women.

We all know the rest of the story.  Coke becomes the biggest thing in the entire world and is seen in almost every aspect of our lives.

So, Dr. Pemberton must be cybernetically frozen or buried in the Taj Mahal, right?


Here is the grave of Dr. Pemberton.

While it was nice that someone left an empty Coke bottle in remembrance, it is quite a humble marker for such an influential man.  

A somewhat more fitting tribute is Atlanta, GA's Pemberton Park.  In between the Georgia Aquarium and Cokes own corporate paradise "World of Coke" lies a statue of Pemberton.

While I was there a guy came up and read the plaque and said "His name isn't Coke".

Coke has attempted to resurrect the good doctor in our modern digital age and have started using his image in advertizing.  For whatever reason the Coke corporation has downplayed the whole "Morphine Addicted Confederate Soldier" aspect of his persona.

For some reason he even has his own twitter account where he mostly just shills coke talks about how awesome his beard is.

The Carpetbagger

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