Soft drinks are not new
You are probably aware of the variety of types and brands of soft drinks. They are found in a long aisle at your favorite supermarket. The many different flavors and diet sodas make it very difficult to decide which one to buy.
Did you know that the idea for soft drinks has a long history going back to Greco-Roman times if not earlier? More recently, the idea for soft drinks began in the 17th century and not for the reasons you may think.
The medicinal value of soft drinks
Ancient men found that the carbonated water produced by natural springs helped to work on minor medical issues. Ever since that discovery, different men throughout the ages have tried to reproduce that natural medicinal effect by using artificial carbonated water.
This was the mentality that led to the invention of Coca-Cola. The original inventor of the Coca Cola (popular soft drink) was John Pemberton, a wounded Civil War veteran who was hooked on morphine.
His original intent for inventing what is now the most popular soft drink in the world was to replace morphine with a safer yet still addictive and alcoholic alternative. It was even sold as a medicinal cure which solved morphine dependency, cured indigestion, headaches, impotence and even nervous disorders.
When Georgia passed a prohibition law, Pemberton removed the alcohol content. You could get a glass for 5 cents and still think that the carbonated water was good for your health.
It is not cocaine that made Coke popular
This is the rumor that has been told for over 100 years but there is no real truth to that rumor. What is true is that the popularity of Coca-Cola and other soft drinks was not the sugary taste or the fun that could be had drinking the soft drink.
It was the powerful stimulants that were added to the recipes. Coca leaves and cola nuts were used in the recipe but not cocaine. What the stimulants did was to give people clearer minds and more energy. These stimulants also helped alter the emotional states of the drinkers of Coke and other soft drinks.
That was the main reason for their popularity. But with the recipe for Coca-Cola one of the most heavily guarded secrets, we may never really know what is put inside or if any of those stimulants have been removed.
Sad unfortunate facts
While Dr. John Pemberton may have invented Coca-Cola, he and his son did not get extremely wealthy off their work and investment. Sole ownership of this now multi-billion dollar company was secured by paying the son of John Pemberton $550 for 1/3rd ownership and $750 for the remaining half share to another investor.
It is also said that some forgery took place to let these sales become a reality. But this is a fact that is often disputed and cannot be credibly verified.
Some final words
With their simple beginnings, the original soft drink makers of the ancient and modern world could not image what their discovery has done to shape the modern world. Dr. John Pemberton unleashed a monster of a soft drink that made other people wealthy.