When Was Coca-Cola Invented?

Coca-Cola is one of the most popular drinks ever invented — as Business Insider reports, roughly 1.9 billion servings of the soda are consumed every day. Back when it was first invented, the drink cost just five cents per glass, according to the official Coca-Cola website.

The creator of the drink was Dr. John Stith Pemberton, an Atlanta, Georgia, pharmacist. He wanted to create a drink similar to coca wine, but without the alcohol, since prohibition laws had recently been passed (via Business Insider). Some of the ingredients included coca leaves, kola-nut extracts, and yes, it really did contain cocaine when it was first invented. Pemberton devised the syrup for the drink, which was then combined with carbonated water in a soda fountain (via Bonkers Institute).

Pemberton believed that the beverage would be a cure for lots of his patient's issues. It turns out that it did not have healing properties, yet Coke was still very popular (per Brittanica).

From soda fountains to glass bottles

Coca-Cola was touted as "a cure for all nervous affections," including "sick head-ache, neuralgia, hysteria, melancholy," and more (via Bonkers Institue). Other advertisements also claimed the drink could cure a tired brain and settle rattled nerves.

Pemberton's partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, suggested they name their creation "Coca-Cola" (via the Coca-Cola website). They reportedly believed that the double Cs in the name would look good in advertisements, and the name stuck. They began selling about nine glasses of soda each day. Pemberton died just two years after creating Coke, so he never got to see the immense success that his drink became.

The drink was first rolled out on May 8, 1886, more than 135 years ago, and was mainly sold on location from soda fountains, according to Eat This, Not That!. It wasn't until 1899, 13 years after its founding, that Coca-Cola was first bottled and sold in stores (via Business Insider). In case you were wondering, although cocaine was legal until 1914, the company removed that ingredient from the drink in 1903.

Coupons and drink coolers

Coca-Cola was constantly strategizing how to make their drink stand out from the competition. In 1893, they trademarked their "Spencerian script" logo to make their signature red packaging and white letters instantly recognizable (via Business Insider). And as Eat This, Not That! reports, they utilized coupons in their sales strategy, handing out tickets that could be redeemed for a free Coke.

In 1919, the corporation told their sales force to ensure that the drink was always served at a chilly 36 degrees (via Business Insider). The company really wanted people to have the perfect drink experience every time to keep them coming back for more, and designed some of the first open-top coolers (per Eat This, Not That!). The container could hold around 70 Coke bottles, and later versions of the cooler even included a built-in bottle opener.

Today, the Coca-Cola Company continues to be incredibly successful. It makes more than 250 types of products, and sells them throughout 200 countries (via Britannica).