Coca-Cola, a worldwide name brand, one of the most recognizable logos on the planet, and also a staple of modern Americana. While many know the company's most famous product, their red canned cola, few know of or remember the long road the company has been on to get where they are today. Going from the small drug store of an American Civil War veteran to the multinational brand it is now. 

Initially Coca-Cola or "Coke", the nickname it has held for decades, was not produced as a soft drink at all. The product's original inventor, John Pemberton, created a coca wine as a never tonic for users to relieve their various ailments. Pemberton had a personal interest in such a formula after having become addicted to morphine as a result of an injury he sustained during the Civil War. Coca-Cola or as it was known then "Pemberton's French Wine Coca" was developed during "The Great Binge" (1870-1914) a period of time known for its lavish alcoholism and drug consumption. The original concoction's formula was a mixture of cocaine and wine. From there it evolved into a carbonated drink once prohibition went into effect, ironically still containing the coca extract despite the ban on liquor. Coupled with the integration of soda fountains the drink grew popular as Pemberton espoused the benefits of drinking his "French Wine Coca". Within two decades a handful of companies were producing the drink and the name was changed to "Coca-Cola". After Pemberton's death, control of the brand changed hands to his son Charley who then sold control of the company at the end of the 1880's but still held onto the brand's name. 

The oft-repeated statement that Coca-Cola was originally invented to cure stomach ailments is not quite true. However the brand was later marketed as being a cure-all for stomach problems during the middle of the 20th century once the recipe had cut out the remnants of Pemberton's original invention. The inclusion of corn syrup dramatically increased the brand's popularity and in 1944 the company's one-billionth gallon of Coca-Cola was manufactured. Prior to this however the drink had been bottled as early as 1891, and by 1955 the first cans of Coke began to appear. During this era Coca-Cola was sold around the world and accounted for over sixty percent of all carbonated soft drink products sold each year. 

By 1980's Coca-Cola's market share had taken a turn for the worse and dwindled down a mere quarter of total sales. In an effort to revitalize the public's interest in the drink, Coca-Cola underwent a major shakeup with the introduction of New Coke. The new soft drink used a brand new recipe that in focus testing indicated a preference over the original recipe. However, the intent of New Coke was not to act as an alternative but rather to replace the older brand. Unfortunately this backfired when the public turned against the brand and requested the old recipe to be reintroduced. Ultimately the reversal worked out for the company and helped bring new, fresh attention to Coca-Cola.