“Strong Enough To Float An Iron Wedge”

How coffee helped win the Civil War

In the waning daylight of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, a tremendous cheer suddenly resounded from the 23rd Ohio Volunteers arrayed across a cornfield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The tired men could see the figure of their 19-year-old-commissary sergeant driving his mule team through shot and shell to their front lines bearing barrels of hot coffee and food. Every man in that regiment received a cup of hot java—and a second wind—courtesy of young William McKinley, who would later become the 25th president of the U.S. Read more »

Sweet Nothing—the Triumph Of Diet Soda

It came out of a Brooklyn hospital and in very few years changed not only what Americans drink but how they see themselves.

It is probably fair to say that Hyman Kirsch, 50 years dead, his once powerful beverage company now a shadow of its former fizzy self, could not have imagined the ways in which his No-Cal soda would change the world.

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