January 14, 2011

The pause that refreshes

Filed under: Uncategorized — jchatoff @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , ,

The Coca-Cola Company was incorporated on this date in 1889, one year after John Pemberton’s death.  Pemberton was the chemist who’d created Coke and he’d put his son Charles in charge.

Pops Restaurant on Route 66 in Arcadia, OK. Photo by Carol Highsmith, LoC

Part of the Coke legend is that the syrup for the drink was created by ‘a druggist,’ but John Pemberton was more than that.  He was a serious chemist who manufactured all kinds of  home and commercial chemicals – the labs he set up at the Georgia Department of Agriculture to test chemicals are still in use.

He went to the Medical College of Georgia in Macon and studied medicine and pharmacy.  When he graduated in 1850 he was licensed to practice Thomsonian medicine, a system based on botanical or herbal remedies to rid the body of toxins. He started J.S. Pemberton and Co. to manufacture ‘all the pharmaceutical and chemical preparations used in the arts and sciences.’

John Stith Pemberton

Eventually he began producing a drink called French Wine Coca, a concoction that consisted of extract of Peruvian coca leaf, ‘the purest wine, and the Kola nut.’  In fact, it was based on a French formula called Vin Mariani.

When Atlanta went dry in 1886, Pemberton took out the wine and substituted sugar syrup and changed the name to Coca-Cola, advertising it as the perfect temperance drink.

Pemberton had allowed Asa Candler and others to use the formula; in 1888, Candler bought exclusive rights to the formula and incorporated the company.  In 1914, a court found that signatures on the document of sale were forged.  In the meantime, Candler had incorporated a new company – the current one – in 1892 and in 1910 he burned all the company’s early records.

* * *


Andy Rooney in New York. Photo by Stephenson Brown, 2008.


It’s Andy Rooney’s birthday today and he is celebrating 91 years.

Born in Albany NY in 1919, he started at CBS in 1949 and has been on 60 Minutes since 1978.  He is certainly proof that retirement isn’t right for everybody.




  1. Pop pop, pop what a fun story & go Andy go. Thank you Jean


    Comment by avery — January 14, 2011 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  2. Coca cola and Andy Rooney! Proof the some things never die


    Comment by GALYA TARMU — January 14, 2011 @ 7:07 pm | Reply

  3. cool bottle sculpture 🙂


    Comment by nina c — January 16, 2011 @ 1:33 am | Reply

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    Jack Handey – “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.”


    Comment by PeavyBawavept — January 18, 2011 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

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