The History of Pepsi-Cola
Caleb D. Bradham was born in Chinquapin, North Carolina in 1866 to a well-to-do family. Caleb was a very well liked young man who was not only very smart, but very popular as well. He seemed to be destined for great things in life. Caleb wanted to become a doctor and after graduating the University of North Carolina he entered medical school at the University of Maryland. However, in his second year of medical school his father's business failed. Caleb had to quit school and take a job, so he moved to New Bern, North Carolina and took a job teaching school. However, Caleb still loved medicine, so when the towns pharmacy, at the corner of Middle and Pollock Streets, was placed on the market in 1893, Caleb convinced the owner to sell him the business. Exactly how Caleb pulled this off must be a testament to his great personality and his salesmanship ability because Caleb didn't actually have any money to purchase the business. He convinced the pharmacies owner to sell him the business based almost solely on credit.
Caleb immediately changed the name of the pharmacy to "Bradham Pharmacy" and started putting his medical training to use putting together prescriptions for the community of New Bern. In those days a pharmacy was more than just a place you picked up your medicine. In those days a pharmacy was also the social gathering place of the towns more educated men, and Caleb's warm and engaging personality brought these men to his pharmacy on a pretty regular basis. Many pharmacies of that era also had soda fountains from which they served their customers soft drinks (as opposed to the hard drinks served in saloons). Caleb's pharmacy was no different, and Caleb was pretty good at concocting new soft drinks of his own making. Sometime in the 1890s Caleb created one such drink that became quite popular at the Bradham Pharmacy, and the patrons started calling it "Brad's Drink" in Caleb's honor. However, Caleb preferred another name for this drink, and he decided to call it Pepsi- Cola.
Cola is a term based on the African kola nut and it was used for its caffeine content. Caleb's drink didn't contain either the kola nut or any caffeine, but it did taste pretty close to the already popular "Coca-Cola" and that was the reason for using the term "Cola" in its name. The "Pepsi" part of the Pepsi-Cola name comes from pepsin, an enzyme which aids in digestion and was also a popular ingredient in early soft drinks (and chewing gum). There has been some dispute as to whether or not the original Pepsi-Cola actually contained pepsin as an ingredient.
The term "Pepsi" in its name is surely an indicator. One of Pepsi-Cola's earliest known advertisement is found in the Feb. 25th, 1903 New Bern Daily Journal, and one of it's claims was that it "Aids Digestion" -- a popular claim for items containing pepsin. Lastly, another newspaper ad produced in 1908 flatout said "PEPSI-Cola is an absolutely pure combination of pepsin -- that's what your stomach needs these days -- acid phosphate and the juices of fresh fruits." (However, it is a fact that by 1923 Pepsi-Cola no longer contained pepsin as an ingredient).
Nobody really knows when Brad's Drink actually became Pepsi-Cola but when Caleb filed for a trademark for his drink in 1902 the documents stated that Pepsi-Cola had been in continual use since August 1, 1901. However, in 1903 Caleb filed for a trademark for Pepsi-Cola with the state of North Carolina, and the documents there indicate that Pepsi-Cola had been in continual use since August 28, 1898. However, in 1906 Caleb had to register "Pepsi-Cola" a second time with the U.S. Patent Office because there was already a product named "Pep-Kola" on the market. The patent office believed these two names were too similar and since Pep-Kola had been trademarked on Feb. 15, 1896, Pepsi-Cola had to come up with a new trademark. Instead of changing the name of his product, Caleb bought the rights to the...
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