Monday, February 7, 2011

7 February 1917: Guarantee Purity and Insure Cleanliness "In a Bottle Through a Straw"

On this day in 1917, this Chero-Cola ad appeared in the Athens Daily Herald:

Chero-Cola was the predecessor of the Royal Crown Cola available today. It was originally created by Columbus, Georgia pharmacist George Hatcher, and proved so popular at his soda fountain, that bottling the drink became the family business.

The company later introduced ginger ale, root beer, and strawberry-flavored soft drinks, and became Nehi when Coca-Cola sued over their use of the word "cola" in their name. The drink was discontinued in the late 1920s and early 1930s, but was brought back in 1934 as Royal Crown Cola. The company is now owned by the Cadbury-Schweppes Corporation. 

The emphasis on purity and quality of the drink was part of the "pure food movement" of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when revelations about conditions in slaughterhouses, and the toxicity of preservatives used in America's foods became a national issue. The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 brought much-needed regulation and transparency to the nation's food supply as it became more industrialized. Terms like "purity" and "wholesome" were undefined but popular selling points during the Progressive Era, similar to the use of "all natural" on food labels today.

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