Tag controversy

A Card from Mr. Candler.

The Constitution, Atlanta, GA, Saturday, June, 13, 1891.

EDITOR CONSTITUTION: There appears in the columns of your paper this morning a notice of “coca-cola,” a preparation which I have been manufacturing and selling largely in this and other communities, for the past three years, as a soda fountain beverage, to the principal dealers, who have dispensed it to the very best people in the community which they serve. For nearly twenty years I have lived in Atlanta and been known prominently as a druggist. Among the citizens of this place I think I have a great many warm friends to whom I can refer for endorsement; that I have endeavored to live above reproach, never manifesting a desire to build up my own interests at the expense of theirs.

As to coca-cola, if your “thoughtful citizen” will find one person in all this country who is a cocaine user by reason of having drank coca-cola, then I plead guilty to their charges. In a pamphlet which I issue and distribute at much expense, I plainly state that among a great many other things which enter into its composition we use coca leaves. I have no objections to stating just here that one gallon of coca-cala syrup, which makes 128 glasses, as dispensed from the fountains, contains one-half ounce of green coca leaves, which are treated with hot water.

If your thoughtful citizen and prominent physician have got as much sense as they lack regard for correct speaking, they can readily see that a gallon of this syrup would not produce any decided effects attributable to cocaine.

Without any investigation as to who is using coca-cola I feel confident that I can truthfully say that every prominent minister, a number of our most skilled physicians together with nine-tenths of the business men, including all professions, are and have been for a least three years constant patrons of coca cola. Because a man once tries it and finds it to be a prompt restorer of his energies and goes back and gets it again and again should not be an argument against its use any more than against the recall of our family physician who restores to life and health the members of our family. That some people use too much of it, is not its fault nor mine, but I have yet to hear of a single case having been injured thereby. The popularity of the beverage is caused as much by the judicious advertising that has been done for it as by its own genuine merits.

We trust that as you have doubtless carelessly permitted the attack to be made, you will as carefully insert this plain statement of my side of the case. Respectfully,