1886 - Pharmacist Dr. John Styth Pemberton invents a carbonated beverage that would later be named "Coca-Cola".
Fascinating man, but I'd like to go off on a different tangent with this. MM and I enjoy watching 'Antiques Roadshow' on PBS. We are always quite amazed at what kind of collectibles are considered extremely valuable, and Coca-Cola memorabilia is definitely at the top of the list.
On one show we saw a book brought in that was identified as possibly one of the very first textbooks used at a university; it's value----$1,000. They have Coca-Cola stuff, like early advertising signs, that were given auction prices of $20-30,000.
Now, I'm no collectibles expert, but that seems really out of whack. I'd be interested to learn whether Coke has made more profit from the product, or the merchandise stuff, throughout its history.