Home Today Is Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, And Ginger Ale Were All Invented By Pharmacists

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, And Ginger Ale Were All Invented By Pharmacists

National Pharmacist Day on January 12th annually recognizes and honors all pharmacists across the nation.

  • Historically, pharmacists primarily checked and distributed drugs to doctors for patient prescribed medication. In modern times, pharmacists advise patients and health care providers on the selection, dosages, interactions and the side effects of prescriptions.
  • Do you wonder how Agatha Christie came to know so much about poisons for her murder mysteries? She was once a pharmacy dispenser during World War I.
  • Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Ginger Ale were all invented by pharmacists
  • Dr. John Stith Pemberton created Coca-cola syrup on May 8,1886 and carried a jug of his new concotion to his pharmacy, Jacobs’ Pharmacy.
  • Dr. Pepper was also invented by a pharmacist. Charles Alderton of Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, TX,  invented this delicious beverage in 1885.
  • Our next fun fact involves the creation of Vernors Ginger Ale, one of America’s oldest soft drinks. Believe it or not – this drink was created by accident! James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist, had been working on a mixture of vanilla and spices with ginger to calm the stomach. He was enlisted in the Civil War, and upon deployment, left his concoction in an oak case. Upon his return, he opened the barrel and was pleasantly surprised by its delicious contents. The zesty, sweet and gingery flavor was accentuated by the wood’s aging process.
  • Before running for President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey earned his pharmacy license and worked in his father’s pharmacy.
  • William Procter, Jr., (May 3, 1817 – February 10, 1874) dedicated his career to the science of pharmacy. He wrote the first textbook on pharmacy for students in the United States and advocated for the founding of the American Pharmaceutical Association. His dedication earned him the name Father of Pharmacy.
  • Turns out, the ancient Egyptians wrote prescriptions just like us! In fact, some of the oldest pharmaceutical records were found in Egypt. Although Egyptian medicine dates back to about 2900 B.C., the “Papyrus Ebers,” a collection of 800 prescriptions mentioning 700 drugs, dates back to around 1500 B.C.
  • Ever wonder where the name Listerine© came from? It’s named after Joseph Lister who spread the word about using antiseptics in hospitals.
  • Ignaz Semmelweis figured out that doctors need to wash their hands after performing an autopsy on another doctor who got sick from cutting his finger during surgery.
  • During World War II, Britain feared that the Germans would invade their country and consequently, get a hold of their penicillin. As a preventative measure, researchers smeared pocket linings with the penicillin mold to transport to the U.S.
  • During the Black Plague, doctors wore amulets (charms) made of dried blood and ground up toads!
  • Early pharmacists, known as apothecarists, often harvested their own plants and herbs to make medicines. In the non-magical world, mandragora was a concoction of mandrake root and alcohol that could put a person to sleep, thereby making surgery pain-free.
  • The separation of physicians and pharmacy dates back to 1683 in Bruges, Belgium, where a law was enacted forbidding doctors from making medication for patients.
  • Benjamin Franklin is considered the founding father of pharmacy. Before he discovered electricity, Benjamin Franklin dispensed medicine as a pharmacist. He worked as a clerk in a local mercantile store, where he dispensed medicines, herbs and other cure
  • By 1751, when Ben Franklin helped to establish the first hospital in the United States, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, the first pharmacy was created in the US.
  • At least in the United States, since the year 2000, all practicing pharmacists must hold a Pharm. D. (Doctor of Pharmacy Degree). In addition, they complete 1-3 years of residency and fellowship training.
  • Most people think that Rx is derived from the Latin word “recipe”, meaning “take”, but another interesting theory suggests that it evolved from the Eye of Horus, an Egyptian symbol believed to have healing powers. Pharmacies and drugstores have been around for a long time.
  • The world’s oldest prescriptions were etched into tablets around 2100 B.C. and Baghdad was home to some of the earliest drugstores, dating as far back as the eighth century.
  • Louisiana was the first state to require pharmacists to be licensed. A French immigrant named Louis Dufilho, Jr. became the first licensed pharmacist in the country in 1816. He opened his own pharmacy in 1823 in New Orleans, where he offered traditional medications as well as Voodoo remedies, opium, leeches, and a soda fountain.
  • The Australian actor, Chris Hemsworth who played of Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron had been working in a pharmacy before he got famous. One of his tasks at the drugstore was to sterilize breast pumps after women returned them to the pharmacy.


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