Coca Mariani, Paris (1890s)

Angelo Mariani, an Italian businessman, became interested in the stimulating properties of the coca leaf in the 1860s. He soon became the world?s largest importer of coca, as well as one of its foremost scholars. His most popular product was a Bordeaux wine called Vin Mariani or Coca Mariani, which contained 0.1 grains of cocaine per ounce. By the 1890s, the demand for Coca Mariani had made him a millionaire, and he was able to publish a book of enthusiastic testimonials from hundreds of artists and political figures including Jules Verne, Henrik Ibsen, William McKinley, Thomas Edison, and Pope Leo XIII. His wildly successful product inspired scores of imitators, including John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola.