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Caleb Bradham, Marker C-60
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member showbizkid
N 35° 06.406 W 077° 02.389
18S E 314092 N 3886786
Quick Description: Caleb Bradham was a New Bern Pharmacist who created the drink that became Pepsi-Cola. This marker is at the building where Bradham's Pharmacy was located and where Pepsi-Cola was invented.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 6/30/2006 8:39:26 AM
Waymark Code: WMG0F
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GeoGordie
Views: 86

Long Description:

The summer of 1898, as usual, was hot and humid in New Bern, North Carolina. So a young pharmacist named Caleb Bradham began experimenting with combinations of spices, juices, and syrups trying to create a refreshing new drink to serve his customers. He succeeded beyond all expectations because he invented the beverage known around the world as Pepsi-Cola.

His creation, a unique mixture of kola nut extract, vanilla and rare oils, became so popular his customers named it "Brad's Drink." Caleb decided to rename it "Pepsi-Cola," and advertised his new soft drink. People responded, and sales of Pepsi-Cola started to grow, convincing him that he should form a company to market the new beverage.

In 1902, he launched the Pepsi-Cola Company in the back room of his pharmacy, and applied to the U.S. Patent Office for a trademark. At first, he mixed the syrup himself and sold it exclusively through soda fountains. But soon Caleb recognized that a greater opportunity existed to bottle Pepsi so that people could drink it anywhere.

The business began to grow, and on June 16, 1903, "Pepsi-Cola" was officially registered with the U.S. Patent Office. That year, Caleb sold 7,968 gallons of syrup, using the theme line "Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion." He also began awarding franchises to bottle Pepsi to independent investors, whose number grew from just two in 1905, in the cities of Charlotte and Durham, North Carolina, to 15 the following year, and 40 by 1907. By the end of 1910, there were Pepsi-Cola franchises in 24 states.

Pepsi-Cola enjoyed 17 unbroken years of success. Caleb now promoted Pepsi sales with the slogan, "Drink Pepsi-Cola. It will satisfy you." Then came World War I, and the cost of doing business increased drastically. Sugar prices see-sawed between record highs and disastrous lows, and so did the price of producing Pepsi-Cola. Caleb was forced into a series of business gambles just to survive, until finally, after three exhausting years, his luck ran out and he was bankrupted. By 1921, only two plants remained open.

The assets of Pepsi-Cola were sold for $25,00 to Loft Incorporated, a large chain of candy stores and soda fountains along the eastern seaboard. The company would have five different owners and 15 unprofitable years ahead of it, but then Pepsi-Cola was once again a thriving national brand.

Bradham returned to operating his New Bern Pharmacy after selling the company. The pharmacy is now a Pepsi-Cola shrine and sells Pepsi merchandise of all kinds.

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Marker Name: Caleb Bradham

Marker Type: City

Related Web Link: [Web Link]

Required Waymark Photo: yes

Local North Carolina markers without State Number Designation: Not listed

Visit Instructions:

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Castor007 visited Caleb Bradham, Marker C-60 7/13/2019 Castor007 visited it
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