Not all literary mentions of cocaine portrayed him in such a terrible light. In 1888, the British physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his now famous short story The Sign of Four, in which admiring detective Sherlock Holmes remarks on his use of cocaine: “I suppose his physical influence is bad. However, I find it so incomparably stimulating and clarifying the mind that its secondary action is a minor matter. ”

Koka followed a pattern already made with coffee, tea and chocolate, that is, she quickly attracted the attention of enterprising people. Chief among those who saw the commercial potential of coca was Frenchman M. Angelo Mariani. In 1888, the first bottle of “Vin Mariani” (ill. 23) was sold on the market, and a whole stream of wines, tonic and elixir based on or with the addition of coca soon appeared.

Mariani was the greatest demonstration of the virtues of coca that the world has ever known. He was imbued with information about coke, surrounding himself with artifacts of the Inca culture, spreading the garden of coca at home and filling the trading empire, which glorified his tonic wine. Thanks to his genius in advertising, he approached the closest living ever to “turn the world around.” Queen Victoria, Pope Leo XIII, Sarah Bernard, Thomas Edison and hundreds of other celebrities and medical representatives publicly testified the tonic properties of his products in a series of 12 volumes published by his company.

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