Confederate History Month Series
A Confederate History Minute (15) – by Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.
Dr. John Stith Pemberton, "The Inventor of Coca Cola"
John Stith Permberton, the inventor of Coca Cola, fought for the Confederacy during the War Between the States. Pemberton rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the 3rd Georgia Cavalry at the end of the war.
John Stith Permberton was born in Knoxville, Georgia in 1833. He attended public school in Rome, Georgia where his family resided for many years. In 1850, he completed his medicine and pharmacy training from the Reform Medical College of Georgia in Macon at age 19. In 1853, he came to Columbus, Georgia and married local woman Eliza Clifford Lewis. The Pemberton’s only child was Charles.
It is believed that Permberton’s "French Wine of Cocoa" was the forerunner of what is now Coca Cola. It was originally dispensed as a head ache cure as well as serving as a "cure for whatever ails you."
Permberton’s product, that would become Coca Cola was first sold in the Jaccob Pharmacy’s of Atlanta. Doctor Pemberton died in Atlanta, Georgia on August 16, 1888, at the age of fifty five and it was reported by the media of that time that all of Atlanta’s pharmacys were closed for his funeral. He is buried in Columbus’ historic Linwood Cemetery.
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