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The Origins of the Coca Cola Company

Coca Cola is one of the world’s most iconic and recognisable brands, but like so many other major corporations, there was a rocky start that is the subject of many books and many legends. It all was first started by a John Pemberton who was wounded in the civil war and became addicted to morphine for his injuries and set out to find an alternative. He had a drug store and worked on developing a tonic, which he registered in 1885 which was a non-alcoholic version of a French coca wine. This was during a prohibition on alcohol so he had to remove the alcoholic content. It was originally sold as a ‘medicine’ claiming to cure many different ailments from morphine addiction to headaches to impotence. This was largely based on the false belief at that time that carbonated water or beverages were good for the health. Not long after this, there was then some disputes between Pemberton, his son and some investors that were involved over ownership of the business, the product and rights to the name. This led to some complicated business dealings, some of it underhand, and settlements. Eventually Pembleton was established as the legal owner of Coca Cola.

After Pembleton’s death in 1988, Asa Chandler purchased the rights to the name and product from the son, Charlie Pembleton. Even then, there were subsequent legal disputes over forged signatures which were never really resolved satisfactorily to the parties involved. The ‘Coca Cola Company’ as we know it today was first incorporated on the 15 January 1889. The rest is history with the company then negotiating with bottlers around the country to produce the product. The company then went from strength to strength to develop inti the brand that it is today. The current corporation is that same company that was registered on 15 January 1889.