Although many today might consider themselves addicted to Coca-Cola, the beverage was originally created as an addiction-free alternative to painkillers.
Suffering from a serious wound and morphine addiction during the Civil War, John Pemberton began experimenting with opium-free painkillers in 1866. One of John’s first concoctions, called Pemberton’s French Wine Cola, was said to help depressed and alcoholic war veterans, as well as “ladies, and all those whose sedentary employment causes nervous prostration.”
When Atlanta passed temperance laws, the pharmacist created the non-alcoholic version we drink today in 1886, which was first served at Jacobs’ Pharmacy.
– Caroline Parsley, The 100 Companies