During the 1890s, Caleb Bradham (1867-1934), a pharmacist in New Bern, North Carolina, invented a drink for sale to his customers.
At first it was only available at his store, so people called it Brad’s Drink.
Bradham preferred to call it Pepsi-Cola because he claimed it aided digestion by relieving dyspepsia, a gastric problem, and it tasted a lot like a more established product named Coca-Cola.
In 1902, Bradham patented the drink, and his company was successful until 1923 when the high price of sugar forced him into bankruptcy.
The company started up again shortly afterwards under new owners.
However, Bradham never got back into the business.
He died in 1934, owning less capital than he had when he started Pepsi.
Some people argue that pepsin, an enzyme good for treating stomach upset, not dyspepsia, was the source of Pepsi’s name, but others say pepsin wasn’t part of the original recipe.
Cola comes from the West African Mandingo word kolo, a type of tree that grows the leaves that provide a key ingredient for Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola.