8 May 1886

Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named “Coca-Cola” as a patent medicine.

John Stith Pemberton
John Pemberton.jpg
Born(1831-07-08)July 8, 1831
Knoxville, Georgia, United States
DiedAugust 16, 1888(1888-08-16) (aged 57)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Resting placeOld City Cemetery (Columbus, Georgia)
EducationReform Medical College of Georgia
OccupationBiochemist
Known forInventor of Coca-Cola
Spouse(s)Ann Eliza Clifford Lewis
Children1
John Stith Pemberton
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Years of service1861–65 (Confederate States Army)
RankConfederate States of America Lieutenant Colonel.png Lieutenant Colonel
UnitThird Cavalry Battalion of the Georgia State Guard
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

John Stith Pemberton (July 8, 1831 – August 16, 1888) was an American biochemist and American Civil War veteran who is best known as the inventor of Coca-Cola. In May 1886, he developed an early version of a beverage that would later become world-famous as Coca-Cola, but sold his rights to the drink shortly before his death.

Background

Pemberton was born on July 8, 1831, in Knoxville, Georgia, and spent most of his childhood in Rome, Georgia. His parents were James C. Pemberton and Martha L. Gant.[1] The Pembertons were of English lineage, the direct paternal ancestor Phineas Pemberton and his family from Lancashire, traveled aboard the ship Submission about 1682 from Liverpool to the Province of Maryland, eventually settling in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.[2][3][4] There he built a mansion in 1687 and had served as William Penn's chief administrator.[5] Stith Pemberton entered the Reform Medical College of Georgia in Macon, Georgia, and in 1850, at the age of nineteen, he earned his medical degree.[6] His main talent was chemistry.[7] After initially practicing some medicine and surgery, Dr. Pemberton opened a drug store in Columbus.[6]

During the American Civil War, Pemberton served in the Third Cavalry Battalion of the Georgia State Guard, which was at that time a component of the Confederate Army. He achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.[6]

Personal life

He met Ann Eliza Clifford Lewis of Columbus, Georgia, known to her friends as "Cliff", who had been a student at the Wesleyan College in Macon. They were married in Columbus in 1853. Their only child, Charles Ney Pemberton, was born in 1854.

They lived in a Victorian cottage, the Pemberton House in Columbus, a home of historic significance which was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 1971.[8][9][10][11]

Founding Coca-Cola

In April 1865, Dr. Pemberton sustained a saber wound to the chest during the Battle of Columbus. He soon became addicted to the morphine used to ease his pain.[12][13][14]

In 1866, seeking a cure for his addiction, he began to experiment with painkillers that would serve as morphine-free alternatives to morphine.[15][16][17] His first recipe was "Dr. Tuggle's Compound Syrup of Globe Flower", in which the active ingredient was derived from the buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), a toxic plant that is common in Alaska.[18] He next began experimenting with coca and coca wines, eventually creating a recipe that contained extracts of kola nut and damiana, which he called Pemberton's French Wine Coca.[19][20]

According to Coca-Cola historian Phil Mooney, Pemberton's world-famous soda was "created in Columbus, Georgia and carried to Atlanta".[21] With public concern about drug addiction, depression, and alcoholism among war veterans, and "neurasthenia" among "highly-strung" Southern women,[22] Pemberton's "medicine" was advertised as particularly beneficial for "ladies, and all those whose sedentary employment causes nervous prostration".[23]

In 1886, when Atlanta and Fulton County enacted temperance legislation, Pemberton had to produce a non-alcoholic alternative to his French Wine Coca.[24] Pemberton relied on Atlanta drugstore owner-proprietor Willis E. Venable to test, and help him perfect, the recipe for the beverage, which he formulated by trial and error. With Venable's assistance, Pemberton worked out a set of directions for its preparation.

Standing in the open doorway to the pharmacy, atop the stoop, is John Pemberton in April 1888 at 47 Peachtree Street, Atlanta.[25]

He blended the base syrup with carbonated water by accident when trying to make another glassful of the beverage. Pemberton decided then to sell this as a fountain drink rather than a medicine. Frank Mason Robinson came up with the name "Coca-Cola" for the alliterative sound, which was popular among other wine medicines of the time. Although the name refers to the two main ingredients, because of controversy over its cocaine content, The Coca-Cola Company later said that the name was "meaningless but fanciful". Robinson hand wrote the Spencerian script on the bottles and ads. Pemberton made many health claims for his product, touting it as a "valuable brain tonic" that would cure headaches, relieve exhaustion, and calm nerves, and marketed it as "delicious, refreshing, pure joy, exhilarating", and "invigorating".

Pemberton sells the business

A sign in Knoxville, Georgia, commemorating John Pemberton.

Soon after Coca-Cola hit the market, Dr. Pemberton fell ill and nearly bankrupt. Sick and desperate, he began selling rights to his formula to his business partners in Atlanta. Part of his motivation to sell was that he still suffered from an expensive continuing morphine addiction.[26] Pemberton had a hunch that his formula "some day will be a national drink", so he attempted to retain a share of the ownership to leave to his son.[26] However, Pemberton's son wanted the money, so in 1888, Pemberton and his son sold the remaining portion of the patent to a fellow Atlanta pharmacist, Asa Griggs Candler, for US$1,750,[6] which in 2019 purchasing power equals to US$47,298.[27]

Death

The grave of John Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia.

John Pemberton died from stomach cancer at age 57 in August 1888. At the time of his death, he also suffered from poverty and addiction to morphine. His body was returned to Columbus, Georgia, where he was buried at Linwood Cemetery. His grave marker is engraved with symbols showing his service in the Confederate Army and his membership as a Freemason. His son Charley continued to sell his father's formula, but six years later Charles Pemberton died after having become an opium addict.[28]

References

  1. ^ "Legendary Locals of Rome - Page 47". Rome Area History Museum. 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  2. ^ "Memory Stream: Dipping into Philadelphia's illustrated past". Newspapers.com. March 28, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  3. ^ "Memory Stream Dipping into Philadelphia's illustrated past". The Philadelphia Inquirer. March 28, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Woolf Jordan, John. "Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania". Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  5. ^ "Memory Stream Dipping into Philadelphia's illustrated past". The Philadelphia Inquirer. March 28, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Historical Inventors — John S. Pemberton — Coca-Cola. Lemelson-MIT Program. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  7. ^ King, Monroe M. "John Stith Pemberton (1831–1888)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 13 June 2017. Web. 11 September 2017.
  8. ^ George B. Griffenhagen, A Guide to Pharmacy Museums and Historical Collections in the United States and Canada, Amer. Inst. History of Pharmacy, 1999, pp. 23–24
  9. ^ Alice Cromie, Restored America: A Tour Guide: the Preserved Towns, Villages, and Historic City Districts of the United States and Canada, American Legacy Press, 1979, p. 135 [1]
  10. ^ Alice Cromie, Restored towns and historic districts of America: a tour guide, Dutton, 1979, p. 135
  11. ^ "National Register Information System – Pemberton House (#71000283)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 15, 2006. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  12. ^ "Richard Gardiner, "The Civil War Origin of Coca-Cola in Columbus, Georgia", Muscogiana: Journal of the Muscogee Genealogical Society (Spring 2012), Vol. 23: 21–24". Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  13. ^ Dominic Streatfeild, Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography, Macmillan (2003), p. 80.
  14. ^ Richard Davenport-Hines, The Pursuit of Oblivion, Norton (2004), p. 152.
  15. ^ John McKay, It Happened in Atlanta (Morris Books, 2011), 36.
  16. ^ Jeremy Agnew, Alcohol and Opium in the Old West, 173.
  17. ^ Albert Jack, They Laughed at Galileo, p. 184
  18. ^ Columbus Enquirer, March 18, 1866
  19. ^ Dominic Streatfeild, meth: An Unauthorized Biography, Macmillan (2003), p. 80.
  20. ^ Richard Davenport-Hines, The Pursuit of Oblivion, Norton (2004), p. 152.
  21. ^ "Tim Chitwood, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer". Archived from the original on 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  22. ^ John Shelton Reed, Minding The South, University of Missouri Press (2099), p.171.
  23. ^ American Soft Drink and the Company that Makes It, Basic Books: enlarged 2nd edition (2000), p.24.
  24. ^ "Is This the Real Thing? Coca-Cola's Secret Formula "Discovered" by This American Life – TIME.com". TIME.com.
  25. ^ "Coca-Cola's Dr. Pemberton May Not Be 'The Real Thing!'". October 27, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  26. ^ a b "For youth God, Country and Coca-Cola". google.com. p. 34.
  27. ^ U.S. Inflation Rate, $1,750 in 1888 to 2019
  28. ^ Pendergrast, Mark (2000). "The tangled chain of title". For God, country, and Coca-Cola: the unauthorized history of the great American soft drink and the company that makes it (2nd ed.). New York: Basic Books. pp. 34–46. ISBN 978-0465054688.

Further reading

  • Schoenberg, B S (1988), "Coke's the one: the centennial of the 'ideal brain tonic' that became a symbol of America", South. Med. J. (published Jan 1988), 81 (1), pp. 69–74, doi:10.1097/00007611-198801000-00015, PMID 3276011
  • King, M M (1987), "Dr. John S. Pemberton: originator of Coca-Cola", Pharmacy in history, 29 (2), pp. 85–9, PMID 11621277
  • Hasegawa, Guy (March 1, 2000), "Pharmacy in the American Civil War", American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 57 (5), pp. 457–489, American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy

External links

8 May 1912

Paramount Pictures is founded.

Paramount Pictures Corporation also known simply as Paramount is an American film studio based in Hollywood, California, that has been a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, and the sole member of the “Big Six” film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood.

In 1916, film producer Adolph Zukor put 22 actors and actresses under contract and honored each with a star on the logo. These fortunate few would become the first “movie stars.” In 2014, Paramount Pictures became the first major Hollywood studio to distribute all of its films in digital form only. The company’s headquarters and studios are located at 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, California, United States.

Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world after the French studios Gaumont Film Company and Pathé, followed by the Nordisk Film company, and Universal Studios. It is the last major film studio still headquartered in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.

Paramount Pictures dates its existence from the 1912 founding date of the Famous Players Film Company. Hungarian-born founder Adolph Zukor, who had been an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed mainly to working-class immigrants. With partners Daniel Frohman and Charles Frohman he planned to offer feature-length films that would appeal to the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical players of the time leading to the slogan “Famous Players in Famous Plays”. By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, and Zukor was on his way to success. Its first film was Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth, which starred Sarah Bernhardt.

That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature Play Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish, later known as Samuel Goldwyn. The Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with virtually no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first feature film, The Squaw Man.

Paramount Pictures’ first logo, based on a design by its founder William Wadsworth Hodkinson, used from 1917 to 1967. Starting in 1914, both Lasky and Famous Players released their films through a start-up company, Paramount Pictures Corporation, organized early that year by a Utah theatre owner, W. W. Hodkinson, who had bought and merged several smaller firms. Hodkinson and actor, director, producer Hobart Bosworth had started production of a series of Jack London movies. Paramount was the first successful nationwide distributor; until this time, films were sold on a statewide or regional basis which had proved costly to film producers. Also, Famous Players and Lasky were privately owned while Paramount was a corporation.

8 May 1912

Paramount Pictures is founded.

Paramount Pictures Corporation also known simply as Paramount is an American film studio based in Hollywood, California, that has been a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, and the sole member of the “Big Six” film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood.

In 1916, film producer Adolph Zukor put 22 actors and actresses under contract and honored each with a star on the logo. These fortunate few would become the first “movie stars.” In 2014, Paramount Pictures became the first major Hollywood studio to distribute all of its films in digital form only. The company’s headquarters and studios are located at 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, California, United States.

Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world after the French studios Gaumont Film Company and Pathé, followed by the Nordisk Film company, and Universal Studios. It is the last major film studio still headquartered in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.

Paramount Pictures dates its existence from the 1912 founding date of the Famous Players Film Company. Hungarian-born founder Adolph Zukor, who had been an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed mainly to working-class immigrants. With partners Daniel Frohman and Charles Frohman he planned to offer feature-length films that would appeal to the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical players of the time leading to the slogan “Famous Players in Famous Plays”. By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, and Zukor was on his way to success. Its first film was Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth, which starred Sarah Bernhardt.

That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature Play Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish, later known as Samuel Goldwyn. The Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with virtually no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first feature film, The Squaw Man.

Paramount Pictures’ first logo, based on a design by its founder William Wadsworth Hodkinson, used from 1917 to 1967. Starting in 1914, both Lasky and Famous Players released their films through a start-up company, Paramount Pictures Corporation, organized early that year by a Utah theatre owner, W. W. Hodkinson, who had bought and merged several smaller firms. Hodkinson and actor, director, producer Hobart Bosworth had started production of a series of Jack London movies. Paramount was the first successful nationwide distributor; until this time, films were sold on a statewide or regional basis which had proved costly to film producers. Also, Famous Players and Lasky were privately owned while Paramount was a corporation.

8 May 1912

Paramount Pictures is established.

Paramount Pictures Corp. was established in 1914 by W.W. Hodkinson as a film distributor, offering Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players Film Company, the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, and other producers an outlet for their movies. In 1916 Zukor and Lasky merged their companies to form the Famous Players–Lasky Corporation and acquired Paramount to distribute their films. The new company, which continued to use the name Paramount as well, quickly rose to prominence by featuring such popular stars as Mary Pickford, Fatty Arbuckle, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, and Rudolph Valentino. Its early hits included the first “big western,” The Covered Wagon (1923), and The Ten Commandments (1923), a biblical epic directed by Cecil B. DeMille.

In the late 1920s and ’30s the studio added to its roster such stars as Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier, W.C. Fields, and Bing Crosby and such directors as Ernst Lubitsch, Josef von Sternberg, and Rouben Mamoulian. Although it continued to produce films that were artistically and financially successful, it suffered losses from its chain of theatres during the transition to sound, and Paramount was declared bankrupt in 1933. It was reorganized two years later as Paramount Pictures, Inc., and was soon profitable again. However, it suffered a setback in 1948 when the Supreme Court ruled that seven movie studios, including Paramount, were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act by controlling both movie distribution and exhibition. As a result, the studios were forced to sell their theatres. No longer able to dictate where and when films would be played, Paramount and other studios began to make fewer—though more expensive—movies.