Category Archives: THING

False Teeth

January 1, 1770


Illustration by Ashley Whitby

Around 500 BC, Etruscans in northern Italy made dentures out of human or other animal teeth.

London‘s Peter de la Roche is believed to be one of the first ‘operators for the teeth’, men who advertised themselves as specialists in dental work. They were often professional goldsmiths, ivory turners or students of barber-surgeons.[1] US President George Washington is famously known for his dentures, which were made with ivory from hippos and elephants as well as gold, rivets, spiral springs and even real human teeth.[2]

The first porcelain dentures were made around 1770 by Alexis Duchâteau

Posted in PEOPLE, THING | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on False Teeth

Coke Without Coke

May 1, 1904


Illustration by Eric Bethea

Colonel John Pemberton was wounded in the Civil War, became addicted to morphine, and began a quest to find a substitute for the dangerous opiate.[5] The prototype Coca-Cola recipe was formulated at Pemberton’s Eagle Drug and Chemical House,[6] a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia, originally as a coca wine.[7][8] He may have been inspired by the formidable success of Vin Mariani, a European coca wine.[9]

In 1885, Pemberton registered his French Wine Coca nerve tonic.

Pemberton called for five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup, a significant dose; in 1891, Candler claimed his formula (altered extensively from Pemberton’s original) contained only a tenth of this amount. Coca-Cola once contained an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass. In 1903, it was removed.[60]

After 1904, instead of using fresh leaves, Coca-Cola started using “spent” leaves – the leftovers of the cocaine-extraction process with trace levels of cocaine.[61] Coca-Cola now uses a cocaine-free coca leaf extract prepared at a Stepan Company plant in Maywood, New Jersey.[62]

In the United States, the Stepan Company is the only manufacturing plant authorized by the Federal Government to import and process the coca plant,[63] which it obtains mainly from Peru and, to a lesser extent, Bolivia. Besides producing the coca flavoring agent for Coca-Cola, the Stepan Company extracts cocaine from the coca leaves, which it sells to Mallinckrodt, aSt. Louis, Missouri, pharmaceutical manufacturer that is the only company in the United States licensed to purify cocaine for medicinal use.[64]



Posted in SCIENCES, THING | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Coke Without Coke