Pepsi cola was first introduced as "Brad's Drink" in New Bern, North Carolina in 1898 by Caleb Brad ham, which made it at his pharmacy where the drink was sold. It was later named Pepsi Cola, possibly due to the digestive enzyme pepsin and kola nuts used in the recipe. Brad ham sought to create a fountain drink that was delicious and would aid in digestion and boost energy.
In 1903, Brad ham moved the bottling of Pepsi-Cola from his drugstore to a rented warehouse. That year, Brad ham sold 7,968 gallons of syrup. The next year, Pepsi was sold in six-ounce bottles, and sales increased to 19,848 gallons. In 1909, automobile race pioneer Barney Oldfield was the first celebrity to endorse Pepsi-Cola, describing it as "A bully drink...refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race". The advertising theme "Delicious and Healthful" was then used over the next two decades. In 1926, Pepsi received its first logo redesign since the original design of 1905. In 1929, the logo was changed again.
In 1931, at the depth of the Great Depression, the Pepsi-Cola Company entered bankruptcy - in large part due to financial losses incurred by speculating on wildly fluctuating sugar prices as a result of World War I. Assets were sold and Roy C. Megargel bought the Pepsi trademark. Eight years later, the company went bankrupt again. Pepsi's assets were then purchased by Charles Gath, the President of Loft Inc. Loft was a candy manufacturer with retail stores that contained soda fountains. He sought to replace Coca-Cola at his stores' fountains after Coke refused to give him a discount on syrup. Gath then had Loft's chemists reformulate the Pepsi-Cola syrup formula.
On three separate occasions between 1922 and 1933, the Coca-Cola Company was offered the opportunity to purchase the Pepsi-Cola company and it declined on each occasion.
By 1907, forty bottling plants were producing Pepsi-Cola, and 100,000 gallons of syrup were sold that year. In 1908, new offices and plant facilities were added to the New Bern plant, and the number of bottlers increased dramatically to ninety-three. The beginning of the second decade of the new century found Caleb Brad ham producing syrup for 280 bottlers, and it seemed as though nothing could stop the growing popularity of this new soft drink. Caleb's major problems began shortly after the end of World War I, when sugar prices began a series of wild fluctuations. Sugar, a principal ingredient in the syrup base of Pepsi, rose from five cents a pound to twenty-two cents a pound. Believing it would rise even higher, Brad ham bought large amounts as a hedge against increased price levels. By 1920, sugar prices had dropped to a low of three cents a pound, and the end of the first chapter of Pepsi's history was just a matter of time. By 1922, the Pepsi-Cola Company was insolvent. Finally, on March 2, 1923, bankruptcy was declared, and Caleb Brad ham returned to his pharmacy ... and faded into obscurity. On May 7, 1923, the Craven Holding Corporation, a group of Brad ham's creditors, bought the Pepsi-Cola trademark and assets at auction for $30,000. The group purchased Pepsi-Cola as a holding action until a buyer could be found to actually put the business back into operation. That buyer turned out to be a Wall Street broker named Roy C. Megargel, who paid $35,000 to the Craven Holding Corporation.
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