America: CocaCola and American society

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie

Coca-cola and America are inextricably linked in the  past and in the present, in the modern world and from the very beginning it was and is very addictive for those who want to reflect on American society. Reflecting with a glass of wine in hand under an olive tree in Andalucia, San Daniel: let "Things go better with coke", pass the review


Banana boats and Coca Cola

John Pemberton worked at the "Eagle drug and Chemical company" and is seen as the founder of the "first" coca cola formula. Coca-based drinks lasted longer. There was a European drink, a type of coca-based wine. The so-called "Vin Mariani". What John made was a derivative of that, he called it: "Pemberton's French coca wine.

French because it had an aura of culture, and yes, Americans go for it and coca wine because there was cocaine in his" wine. Wine also sounds better than drink, more dignified. It was an ordinary product that was not shockingly innovative.

We are talking about a time when carbonated water became very popular and touted as healthy. The time of the "soda fountains." You'd go with your friends for a "pop drink" a popular drink, that was a syrup with carbonated water, so why the coca cola and what do the banana boats have to do with it?


The American fruit company inc.

Around 1880, more exotic fruit was traded in America than in all previous years. You have to think mainly of bananas. There were all sorts of small businesses and companies active in this sector that eventually became so influential when they joined forces that they even controlled politics in the republics in South America.

They literally called the shots. Very strange to think that a banana importer and exporter controlled an army of another country. A typical example of this was the "banana slaughter" in Columbia in 1928. The workers, read 'banana pickers', were on strike. General Cortz Vargas opened fire on the strikers with his army.

The strikers at that moment were listening to a speech in the main square of the city: Cienaga. Resulting in: 3000 dead and 2000 injured. Senator Jorge Elizer Gaitan later explained in parliament that the army had acted under instructions from the American fruit company.


General Cortz defended his action by saying that he thought the strikers were Communist in nature and that he did not want an American intervention to secure their investments.

In a telegram sent to the state secretary from Bogota, the government reported that the strikers had been arrested and thrown into prison, the government hoped that they had  secured American investment.

The banana boats and cocaine

Banana boats were always given priority in the South American ports. The American fruit company found it no problem to bribe anyone and even have railways built in other countries to transport the fruit they owned.

 We are talking about an early Multinational which was emerging without controls at all. The boats were loaded manually, laborers with large bunches on their backs came aboard and disappeared into the holds to stack the bunches there and get new ones again.


The loading and unloading of ships always takes place under the auspices of the 1st mate. John Stoop, charged with loading his ship for the Amercan fruit company, noticed that the same team of laborers were constantly carrying bananas for 42 hours straight. They did get bloodshot eyes, but they neither hastened nor slowed down their pace.

He spoke with the senior worker who told them that they were chewing on leaves that took away the tiredness. John noticed that they were all chewing indeed. John came from the same city as John Pemberton who was working on the new syrup. He told Pemberton about the leaves, received shares in his company and the last raw material for Coca Cola was found: Cocaine.


The prohibition gives Pemberton a boost

When in 1886 in Fulton County a prohibition, a general ban on alcohol, was announced, Pemberton changed his "French coca wine" to a non-alcoholic pop drink. it was sold under a medical patent because it would be 'good' for your health. Just like years later heroine started its career as an anti-cough medicine, developed at Bayer .. Boy that really stopped you coughing and then you had to keep buying it. Great product for the manufacturer. Heroine, the fortified form of Asperine, also produced by Bayer.

When Rabbi Tobias Geffen declared Coco cola certified Kosher, sales really increased. Now an alternative had come for the fairly large Jewish community in the US. Coca Cola, because the Rabbi said it was good.



The pop drink that made you alert

Not only did Coca Cola make you more alert, you wanted to keep drinking it, because then you felt good, and if you drank more, you felt great, and if you didn't drink it for a while, you felt completely down. Coca Cola did good business.

Pemberton had 9 milligrams of pure cocaine per glass according to its formula. Yup, it got weird when people became aggressive if they couldn't get coca cola, but it did. People became dependent on their pop drink.

Courtcases and rulings came and the result was that in a phase in 1903, cocaine was greatly reduced by taking subtracts of used leaves, which was good for the manufacturer because now you had to drink more to get the same feeling and eventually by ruling of 1904, the cocaine had to completely disappear from the formula. It was replaced by caffeine, also a drug, but not on the forbidden list.


Coca cola Style icon but with a negative taste

Everyone knows that Coca Cola and pop drinks are just not healthy. Coca Cola made a bad turn to have factories run by Nazi Germany. For that matter, there have been more American companies that made money from the Nazis.

What IBM is only too happy to forget, for example, is that they supplied the control equipment for the gas chambers in Nazi Germany.

Coca cola has also been involved in paramilitary actions to kill union leaders. Apart from that, it has become an American style icon, the bottle, the slogan, you recognize the signs without reading them .. a red sign with swirling white letters, it has become a brand.

Things go better with coke (but than coke from before 1904)

San Daniel 2019


  1. "Angelo Mariani – Man Behind The Bottle – Discover"Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux.
  2.  Karch, Steven B. (2006). A Brief History of Cocaine (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: Taylor & Francis Group. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-8493-9775-2. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  3.  Inciardi, James A. (1992). The War on Drugs II. Mayfield Publishing Company. p. 6. ISBN 1-55934-016-9.
  4.  Bucheli, Marcelo. Bananas and business: The United Fruit Company in Colombia, 1899–2000. p. 132
  5.  Elias Caro, Jorge Enrique; Vidal Ortega, Antonio (2012). "The Worker's Massacre of 1928 in the Magdalena Zona Bananera - Colombia
  6. Verthein U, Degkwitz P, Berger J, Krausz M, Naber D (2007). "Heroin-assisted treatment for opioid dependence: Randomised controlled trial" (PDF). The British Journal of Psychiatry191: 55–62. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.106.026112PMID 17602126.
  7. "Rolleston Report". Departmental Commission on Morphine and Heroin Addiction, United Kingdom. 1926. Archived from the original on 17 April 2011. Retrieved 28 January2011.
31/10/2019 03:06

Reacties (2) 

31/10/2019 15:15
Nooit geweten, hoe het allemaal begon.
Ik wist wél dat de echte coca al begin vorige eeuw in de ban gedaan werd en vervangen door caffeïne (for obvious reasons). Ook de banden tussen IBM en Nazi-Duitsland zijn bekend.
Maar de beginperiode kende ik niet. Zo wordt een mens steeds wijzer...

Ik ben trouwens nooit een fan van Coca Cola geweest: vond het altijd te zoet.
31/10/2019 15:44
Ik blijf ver weg van elke popdrink
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