Thursday, May 13, 2010


I'm on a flying visit to Atlanta and find myself smack into summer weather. Its only May but the temperature is hovering in the high 80's and humidity is creeping up.
July must be pretty tough going.
Atlanta is an odd place.
The city is sprawling and as a consequence the downtown core feels strangely empty.
I've always felt like I'm walking in a giant suburb though I'm surrounded by skyscrapers and an urban landscape.
It all feels very bland.
Arguably the city's most famous export is Coca Cola. As you can see Mr Pemberton a pharmacist in Atlanta, created the Coke formula in a three legged brass kettle in his backyard in 1886.
The name "Coca Cola" was suggested by Frank Robinson, (Pemberton's book keeper) and he's also credited for creating the flowing script seen on bottles and signs.
Coke premiered in 1866 and was sold through Pemberton's pharmacy soda fountain.
He averaged 9 servings a day and the first year's sales tallied to $50.
His costs were $70.
Humble beginnings indeed.
In 1887, another pharmacist Asa Candler bought the formula from Pemberton for $2300. It's Candler's marketing genius which is widely credited for turning the business into the juggernaut of today.
Coke products are sold in over 200 countries and generate billions in sales .
At launch Coke contained two key ingredients: cocaine (benzoylmethyl ecgonine) and caffeine.
Methinks this may have contributed to its instant popularity.
The early formula called for 5 ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup.
This is a significant, discernible dose.
Before being finally removed in 1903, each 9 ounce glass contained a minimum of nine milligrams of pure marching powder.
In all my travels, regardless of the language or culture, I've been able to say "coke" and be understood.
Coke is widely credited with bringing Santa Claus into public consciousness.
Starting in 1931, Coke started using the Santa character in its advertising and the image soon transcended its original place and became an iconic symbol in its own right.
How do I know all this?
Atlanta has its very own Coca Cola museum.
I didn't actually go in but was able to cull the Santa stuff from brochures at the door.
The "cocaine connection" was strangely absent in the literature..............Is it me or is the concept of an annual pass to the "World of Coke" a bit odd?
Walking around Atlanta yesterday it was hot and people were cooling off anyway they could.
Another claim to fame for Atlanta is its position as the world headquarters for CNN.
I guess that's significant for me as I have spent countless hours watching the channel and its been the soundtrack to my morning shower from Beijing to Rio de Janeiro.
Did I take the tour?
Only in America.
Draw your own conclusions.
That's it folks.
Stay well and stay tuned.
Love to all

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Flew over you today. I waved.