Dom, a Confederate soldier, holds a bag of coke and wine with a sword through his chest. A mother polar bear drinking soda blocks her cub's eyes.

May 29, 1886

John Pemberton first advertises Coca-Cola. Originally cocaine dissolved in wine, the tonic was created to help Pemberton kick his addiction to the opiates he took for pain caused by taking a sword to the chest in the Civil War.

This piece is from the History Shapes Archive, a collection of over 60 single-panel gag cartoons going all the way back to 2018. Republished in full throughout 2023 only on
History Shapes Needs Your Support!

History Shapes is a reader-supported, independent cartoon and comic series. If you get your kicks from that sorta thing, and are able, please consider joining The History Shapes Club.

For just $5 a month you can help with research, writing, drawing, and all the work that goes into producing cartoons just like this one. There are a handful of perks, to boot. It's like PBS, but for weird history cartoons.

(Unable to join but still want to help? Send this cartoon to a friend!)