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Coca-Cola Recreation

Stylized Coca-Cola Recreation Mural

If we are to alleviate the world's suffering, we must find solace in the elixir of nature. This is the purpose of French Wine Coca - to provide relief, to spark joy, and to inspire a healthier future. John S. Pemberton, 1884

In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton formulated the beverage that became consumed world-wide as Coca Cola. But two years before the “Coke” formula was a twinkle in his eye, Dr. Pemberton made a fortune selling his “French Wine Coca.” Based on a beverage favored in chic Parsian salons, Pemberton’s elixir was a potent and wildly popular blend of Bordeaux wine and cocaine. In the years before drug regulation, Pemberton successfully marketed his beverage as a beneficial and miraculous cure-all.

Responding to the influential Temperance Movement, in 1886 the City of Atlanta prohibited sales of Pemberton’s French Wine Coca based on its alcohol content. Pemberton set about creating a non-alcoholic version of his tonic and formulated a syrup which, when combined with fizzy seltzer water, made “the ideal temperance drink.” Dr. Pemberton’s new beverage, “Coca-Cola,” still contained cocaine, but not one drop of alcohol!

Dr. Pemberton sold his majority stake in Coca-Cola to Atlanta businessman Asa Chandler, who grew distribution exponentially. By 1895, consumers in every state and territory across the nation were enjoying the invigorating effects of “Coke.” When the troubling effects of cocaine came to light in the early 1900s, the Coca-Cola Company began slowly reducing then removing cocaine from Coke’s recipe, replacing it with caffeine and sugar.


Mural Details


Jill Welsh


Butler Co. Historical Society


140 E Jefferson St, Butler, PA

Distribution of bottled Coca-Cola began c. 1899, when the Coca-Cola Bottling Association contracted the Root Glass Company of Indiana to manufacture Coke’s unique, instantly recognizable green glass bottle.

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Pennsylvania opened Butler’s first Coke bottling plant at 512 West Cunningham Street. In 1940, responding to increasing demand for Coca-Cola in local grocery stores, restaurants, and bars, a larger bottling plant was designed by local architect Edwin Howard, Jr. The new bottling plant on First Street, just off Jefferson, was a one-story brick building measuring 80’ by 160’. The new plant boasted stone trim and contained state of the art bottling machinery.

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