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The Real Thing

July 8, 2014

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Profile America — Tuesday, July 8th. On this date in 1831, a baby was born in Knoxville, Georgia who would grow up, after serving as a Confederate officer, to invent a product that rather symbolizes America all around the world. John Stith Pemberton was a pharmacist himself addicted to morphine after its use in treating his war wound. His search for a cure for the addiction, which he never found, led him to create a beverage with a powerful, global attraction. Containing coca leaf extract and kola nut, his syrup debuted in Atlanta on May 8, 1886. Soon called Coca-Cola, it went on to make his partners and investors quite wealthy. But not Pemberton, as the inventor sold his interest in 1888. Across the country, there are 460 soft drink manufacturers, employing over 50,000 workers in a nearly $42 billion a year business. Profile America is in its17th year as a Public Service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sources: NAICS 312111

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: June 27, 2014