It was 1886 and in New York Harbour, workers were constructing the Statue of Liberty. Eight hundred miles away, another great American symbol was about to be unveiled. Like many people who change history, John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, was inspired by simple curiosity.
One afternoon, he stirred up a fragrant, caramel-coloured liquid and, when it was done, he carried it a few doors down to Jacobs’ Pharmacy. Here, the mixture was combined with carbonated water and sampled by customers who all agreed this new drink was something special. So Jacobs’ Pharmacy put it on sale for five cents (about 3p) a glass. Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, named the mixture
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