Today in Entrepreneurial History: May 8

On this date in 1886, pharmacist John Styth Pemberton first sold a carbonated beverage named Coca-Cola as a patent medicine.

If you’ve been paying attention, Pemberton first brewed up a batch of Coca-Cola in his backyard on March 29, 1886. That’s 39 days.

To read more about the history of Coca Cola, I recommend For God, Country, and Coca-Cola by Mark Pendergrast.

For God, Country and Coca-Cola is the unauthorized history of the great American soft drink and the company that makes it. From its origins as a patent medicine in Reconstruction Atlanta through its rise as the dominant consumer beverage of the American century, the story of Coke is as unique, tasty, and effervescent as the drink itself. With vivid portraits of the entrepreneurs who founded the company-and of the colorful cast of hustlers, swindlers, ad men, and con men who have made Coca-Cola the most recognized trademark in the world-this is business history at its best: in fact, “The Real Thing.”

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