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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
COCA-COLA 101
John Styth Pemberton - is the Coke's invetnor. An Atlanta pharmacist, who in 1885 mixed up a pirated version of a popular drink of the time calle Vin Mariani. Vin Mariani was a wine spiked with coca leaves. It was both an aperitif and a stimulant -- something on the order of Dubonner, only with cocaine in it.

According to a promotional book, Ulysses S. Grant, Jules Verne, Emile Zola, Henrik Ibsen, the Russian Czar and Pope Leo XIII drank Vin Mariani.Pemberton calle dhis drink French Wine of Coca. Sales was disappointing.

The following year, Pemberton overhauled the formula. The wine was taken out. Still envisioning a stimulant product, he retained the cola leaf extract and added an extract of the African "hell seed" or kola nut.Kola nut contains caffeine, the ame stimulant in coffee or tea.

Both coca and kola extracts are bitter. So Pemberton added sugar and flavorings to kill the unpleasant taste. The result was a syrup, not a beverage. The name "Coca-Cola" was adopted when Pemberton's partner, Frank M. Robinson, decided that two Cs would work well in the Spencerian-script logo he was designing.

During its first year in Atlanta, Coca-Cola was sold at pharmacies as a syrup that could be taken as is or diluted with water. Nothing on the market today is a counterpart of the early Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola was promoted as a stimulant -- more the 1880's equivalent of No-Doz or Vivarin than just a drink. But No-doz and Vivarin are not seen as particularly healthful products; Coca-Cola was. Coke was a stimulant, health tonic and beverage.

Pemberton is known to have revealed the Coca-Cola formula to at least four persons. He told his partner/bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson. Apparently Pemberton told his son, Charles.(Later, at the behest of the Coca-Cola Company founder Asa G. Gandler, Charles signed a document denouncing his right to use the formula). And Pemberton told Willis E. Venable and George S. Lowndes, the two men who purchased the formula in July 1887.

A scarce five months later, Venable and Lowndes themselves sold out. They transmitted the formula and rights to Coca-Cola to Woolfolk Walker and Mrs. G.C. Dozier.Then in two separate transactions in 1888, Walker and Dozier sold their rights and the formula to Asa G. Gandler. The same year saw the death of John Pemberton and a new marketing angle mixing the syrup with carbonated water.

Candler was the first one to recognize the potential of Coke. He equally recognized the importance of keeping the formula a secret. Unfortunately, at least seven people knew the Coke formula by the time Candler got it. At least some of them no longer had any particular incentive to preserve the secret. In 1892, Candler, Robinson and three others incorporated their operations as the Coca-Cola Company.

Candler instituted the shroud of secrecy that has since enveloped the formula. Candler and Robinson formed the first pair of initiates. Not until 1903 was anyone else allowed to make the syrup. The syrup was prepared in a local laboratory, only Candler and Robinson having the combination to the door. Shipments of ingredients were promptly deposited in the laboratory.

As the company got larger, Candler no longer could prepare all the syrup himself. In 1894 the first branch syrup plant was started in Dallas. Rahter than relinquish the secret, Candler hit upon a scheme whereby people in other cities could prepare Coca-Cola syrup without knowing what wa in it.The ingredients were numbered 1 to 9, inclusive. Branch factory managers were told the relative proportions fo the ingredients and the missing procedure, but not the indentities of the numbered ingredients. If the Dallas plants was low on ingredient no. 6, it would order "merchandise no.6" from Atlanta headquarters. Further to defy ready analysts, some of the merchandises were themselves mistures of more basic ingredients.

To an extent, Candler was locking the barn after the horse had been stolen. It isn't clear who among the early initiates talked, but it seems someone must have.

For instance, there was Diva Brown, a woman who claimed that John Pemberton had sold her the Coca-Cola formula shortly before he died. True or not, Brown had somehow gleaned enough information about Coke's recipe to mix up passable imitations. She marketed Better Cola, Celery-Cola, Lime Cola, My-Coca, Vera-Cola, Vera Coca, and Yum-Yum in the southern states, claiming they were based on Pemberton's formula.

The Koke Company claimed to have gotten hold of browne's formula upon her death in 1914 and thereby produced Koke, still another ersatz Coca-Cola. For a long time, Coca-Cola neglected to trademark "Coke" fearing the nickname would encourage substitution. So the Koke Company was able to call its product Koke until stopped by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1920.

Is There Cocaine in Coca-Cola?

Coca-Cola was not always alone in its use of coca. There were coca elixirs and beverages before there were colas. Until 1903, Coca-Cola contained the full cocaine content opf its coca extract. Since then, Coca-Cola has taken great pains to remove the cocaine from the coca leaves before they go into merchandise no.5. According to the source, thgere were sixty-nine imitations of Coca-Cola still containign measurable cocaine in 1909.

Even before 1903, the amount of cocaines in Coca-Cola was trifling. One analysis put the cocaine content of an ounce of Coca-Cola syrup -- in the pre-extraction days -- at 0.04 grains. That's not much. In small doeses, cocaine has roughly the stimulant effect of a dose of caffeine ten times larger.

In 1972 Dr. Norman Fansworth of the University of Illinois, Chicago, had graduated students test Coke and other colas for cocaine. A gas-chromatpgraphy "peak" near that expected for cocaine was found. To confirm the apparent finding, Fansworth's group added cocaine to a sample of Coca-Cola and retested. This time there were two peak. A scientific paper reporting the original inding was hastily shelved.

You can make a strong argument that there must be some concaine in Coca-Cola nonetheless. The decocanization process used on the coca leaves that go into Coke is similar to the decaffeination of coffee. A solvent is passed through the leaves repeatedly, leaching away a little more cocaine each time.

It is claimed that only two persons know the complete formula for Coca-Cola syrup. Company policy, forbids them from traveling in the same plane. When one dies, the other is to choose a successor and impart the secret to that person. So secret is Coca-Cola's formula that the indentity of the two initiates is itself a secret. The written recipe is in the safe-deposit vault at the Trust Company of Georgia. The vault, its claimed, can be opened only with the approval of Coca-Cola board of directors.Clearly, the syrup recipe is percieved as the heart and soul of the Coca-Cola organization.

(abstracted from the book: Big Secrets by: William Poundstom)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:40 AM  
1 Comments:
  • At 5:30 AM, Blogger cathcath said…

    frat,
    may galit ka ba sa akin. bakit ang liliit ng font mo? hirap kong basahin lalo hindi ko suot ang contact ko sa gabi.

     
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Name: infraternam meam
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About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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