John Pemberton és a Coca-Cola

középfok

Olvasmány a Coca-Cola történetéről egy nyomkodós feladattal és szószedettel. 

John Pemberton and the Start of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is the most famous brand in the world, and for a century has been one of the most profitable as well. In contrast to the drink’s success its inventor, a certain John Pemberton, died in poverty from cancer – his last years spent as a morphine addict.

Pemberton did not create the drink’s recipe from thin air. He produced what was initially a patent medicine. Even the name comes from the alliteration of its main ingredients – the coca leaf and the kola nut. While the drink has survived far longer than its contemporaries of the 1880s, it comes from a long American tradition which John Pemberton tapped into.

The patent medicine craze reached its heights in the years after the Civil War. Its advertising kept the newspapers in business. The content of such medicines was always questionable. Mercury, opium, and morphine were some of the more potent ingredients that turned up. Many other concoctions were little more than placebos advertised by salesmen to cure arthritis, chronic pain, and cancer. In an age when established medical practice was of questionable quality, these products filled a void and many of them sold quite well.

In the South, a Confederate veteran named John Pemberton concocted and sold a large number of these mixtures in the years after the Civil War. He was known to produce a higher quality product than most. He probably produced no less than ten separate medicines over the course of the 1860s and 70s, constantly refining his craft with a study of chemistry and biology. By the 1880s, a particular elixir had gained tremendous popularity in the patent medicine market. It was a mixture of wine and cocaine called Vin Mariani. Invented in Corsica, this product arrived in America through some well known people such as Thomas Edison, Jules Verne, and Pope Leo XII.

Cocaine was widely praised at the time for its medicinal qualities. It was known to increase the powers of concentration, to relieve headaches, to stimulate the intellect, and to provide a boost of energy for those engaged in physical exertions. Some even believed that the drug could provide a cure for morphine addiction.

The latter effect was what Pemberton hoped to achieve. Throughout the early 1880s he worked on his recipe until he created “Pemberton’s French Wine Coca” and began selling it in the Atlanta area. The initial response from his customers was quite positive, and Pemberton believed he had finally found his ticket to fame and financial security.

No sooner did Pemberton create his new beverage, however, when a campaign for alcohol prohibition began to sweep across Georgia.

Realizing he would be back to where he started without a new recipe, Pemberton removed the wine and began mixing other substances with the coca leaves he had. Most of the drinks were far too bitter, so he added sugar. This made the consistency too thick, and he added citric acid to compensate. Carbonated water, also known for its health properties at the time, was used as a base. Finally, in 1886, Pemberton was satisfied that he had created a palatable substitute for wine coca – a “temperance drink” as he called it. An associate named Frank Robinson created the name Coca-Cola  after two of the main ingredients.

Initial sales and feedback were quite promising. Unfortunately, Pemberton’s business sense failed him when it came to Coca-Cola. After a promising start he sold shares of his concern to several different people. He gradually diluted his own holdings down to almost nothing and began working on a competing product.

Pemberton did not live to see the tremendous success of his product. On August 16, 1888 he passed away from cancer. It would take the efforts of a very different man to turn Coca-Cola into a national soda drink.

 source: americanhistoryusa.com

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Vocabulary

brand

márkanév

profitable

jövedelmező

inventor

feltaláló

poverty

szegénység

morphine addict

morfiumfüggő

from thin air

minden előzmény nélkül, a semmiből

patent medicine

gyógyszerszabadalom, szabadalmaztatott gyógyszer

alliteration

alliteráció, a kezdőbetűk összecsengése

ingredients

összetevők

coca leaf

kokalevél

kola nut

kóladió

contemporary

kortárs

to tap into

belelépni

Civil War

(Amerikai) Polgárháború

content

tartalom

mercury

higany

potent

hatásos

concoction

főzet

arthritis

ízületi gyulladás

established medical practice

hivatásos orvoslás

ofquestionable quality

megkérdőjelezhető minőségű

to fill a void

űrt betölteni

Confederate veteran

polgárháborús – a déliek oldalán harcoló – veterán

to refine

finomítani, tökéletesíteni

tremendous

hatalmas

to relieve headaches

csillapítani, elmulasztani a fejfájást

physical exertions

testi kifáradás

financial security

anyagi biztonság

beverage

ital

alcohol prohibition

alkohol betiltása, alkoholtilalom

consistency

sűrűség

citric acid

citromsav

carbonated water

szénsavas víz

palatable

ízletes

temperance

mértékletesség

feedback

visszajelzés

shares

részvények

concern

vállalat

to dilute

lecsökkenteni, felhígítani

holdings

készletek

competing

konkurens

to pass away

meghalni, elhunyni

soda drink

szénsavas üdítőital

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