Pepsi-Cola logo 1898
Pepsi-Cola logo 1898
Original name: "Brad's Drink" (1893)

Name: "Pepsi-Cola" (August 28, 1898)

Category: Drink

Subcategory: Soft drinks

Inventor: Caleb Bradham

Producer: Pepsi-Cola Company
(founded by Caleb Bradham in 1902)

Caleb Bradham
Caleb Bradham
Chinquapin, May 27, 1867
- New Bern, Feb. 19, 1934,
pharmacist and
inventor of Pepsi-Cola
Production start: 1898 (1893 as "Brad's Drink") - New Bern, North Carolina, USA

First price: It was initially sold as a refreshing - aiding in digestion drink for five cents a glass at soda fountains

Original recipe: Carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils and cola nuts

Interesting facts: In 1893 pharmacist Caleb Bradham invented the "Brad's Drink", a refreshing drink sold at soda fountains in his drugstore in New Bern, North Carolina. In 1898 he renamed it "Pepsi-Cola"; Cola is a term based on the African kola nut, and Pepsi comes from pepsin, an enzyme which aids in digestion and was also a popular ingredient in early soft drinks and chewing gum. In 1902, he launched the Pepsi-Cola Company in the back room of his pharmacy; the business began to grow, and on June 16, 1903, "Pepsi-Cola" became an official trademark. By 1904, the Pepsi-Cola Syrup sales reached almost 20,000 gallons. As demand for the drink continued to rise, Bradham decided it was time to offer Pepsi-Cola in bottles. By 1910 there were 240 franchises in 24 states and that year the Pepsi-Cola Company held their first Bottler Convention in New Bern. The outbreak of World War I changed the U.S. financial landscape, and the cost of doing business increased drastically. Sugar prices fluctuated wildly between record highs and disastrous lows, and so did the cost of producing Pepsi-Cola. In 1923, Pepsi-Cola was bankrupt. Caleb returned to his pharmacy and sold the valuable Pepsi-Cola trademark to Craven Holdings Corporation, the first of what would be several owners.

Slogan (1902): «PEPSI-COLA is healthful, refreshing, invigorating and delicious. Aids digestion»

Property: PepsiCo Inc.

Product website:

Caleb Bradham pharmacy
Caleb Bradham (circled) serving Pepsi-Cola in his pharmacy (1900s)

Pepsi-Cola ad 1902
Pepsi-Cola newspaper advertisement (Goldsboro weekly argus, Goldsboro, N.C., November 27, 1902). «PEPSI-COLA is healthful, refreshing, invigorating and delicious. Aids digestion. 5 cts. at soda fountains».

Pepsi-Cola trademark 1903
Pepsi-Cola trademark granted to Caleb Bradham (June 16, 1903)

Pepsi-Cola ad 1903
Pepsi-Cola newspaper advertisement (The times dispatch., Richmond, Va., August 7, 1903). «Do you feel tired and out of sorts? Got the "blues" or nervous? Drink PEPSI-COLA at all soda fountains, cost you 5 cents, and put new life in your old bones».

Pepsi-Cola ad 1907
Pepsi-Cola newspaper advertisement (The times dispatch., Richmond, Va., September 17, 1907). «Put Down Your Bundles and Take a Rest»

Pepsi-Cola ad 1908
Pepsi-Cola newspaper advertisement (The times dispatch., Richmond, Va., June 30, 1908). Automobile race pioneer Barney Oldfield was the first celebrity to endorse Pepsi-Cola.

Pepsi-Cola poster 1905-1910
Caleb Bradham's daughter, Mary, poses with an early Pepsi poster (c. 1905-1910)

Pepsi-Cola postcard 1907-1913
Pepsi-Cola postcard 1907-1913, detail
Postcard of a mule-drawn Pepsi Cola delivery wagon (c. 1907-1913)

Pepsi-Cola 12-ounce bottle
Pepsi-Cola six-pack
Pepsi-Cola, 12-ounce bottle and six-pack (1930s)

Pepsi-Cola early cans
Pepsi-Cola, early cans (left 1948, center 1950, right 1959)

Pepsi-Cola 2014
Pepsi-Cola, advanced versions (2014)