Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Napoleon53, Dec 13, 2018.
Can you do a update about the Welsh and Scottish?
Maybe, or you could do them. I need to stop spinning so many plates.
PLEASE ENJOY THIS PREVIEW OF THE COMING ATTRACTIONS:
In the Shadow of The Hill: The Secret Societies of UNC Chapel Hill Part I
Citizen, this post has been corrected by the Office of Public Virtue.
The Life of Phineas Barnum
If there was anyone who was the Personification of the frontier, it was Phineas Barnum. The frontier forged his life’s ambitions and in turn he brought the splendor of the frontier to the masses. To this very day, the results of Barnum’s labor can still be felt across the country and the world.
Phineas Philo Barnum was born on Independence Day 1810 in Bethel, Connecticut. His father, Philo, was a modest innkeeper at Phineas’ birth. Unfortunately for the Barnum family, this steady source of income went up in flames with the War of 1812. On their way to New York, Drummond’s forces passed through Bethel and raided the down, destroying Philo's inn. Four-year-old Phineas and his family fled in horror as their old lives were destroyed. The Barnum family never returned to New England, instead settling in Pittsburgh. Philo found work as a laborer in a glass factory, where he worked until his death in 1823. During their time in Pittsburgh, young Phineas would be found at the docks. When not in school, he’d make money shining the shoes of riverboat sailors coming back from their trips West. According to Barnum, their stories of sailing up and down the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers captivated him more so than his schoolwork. At night the young Barnum often dreamed of sailing the Mississippi and exploring unknown lands.
A steamboat on the Mississippi
After his father’s death, Barnum’s mother was quick to remarry. Her new husband was incredibly abusive and dismissive of the teenage Barnum. He’d constantly make his stepson do the chores while he lazed around the house, dismiss Barnum’s dreams as foolish childhood fantasies, and throw him out into the streets whenever he dared to fight back. After a year of this torture, Barnum had enough of his stepfather’s torment and ran away from home. He went to the docks of Pittsburgh and found work on the steamboat Robert Fulton, which regularly sailed up and down the Mississippi River. It was his time on the Robert Fulton when Barnum developed and honed his cartography and navigation skills. During his free time on board, Barnum would sketch his own maps of the Mississippi River, which were as accurate as the maps of more well-trained cartographers. When the ship reached New Orleans, Barnum at first never left the docks. After a year of not leaving the docks, a fellow crew member convinced Barnum to explore the bustling port with him. This would prove to be disastrous for the young teen. Often the members of the crew would go to bars and play poker with the wealthy of New Orleans. Barnum claimed he was pressured into drinking and smoking, which quickly developed into an addiction. His addiction for the various liquors, especially expensive French wine, lead Barnum to the various poker tables of New Orleans. The French upper class constantly scammed American traders like Barnum by cheating at every possible opportunity. Barnum complained on multiple occasions, but his complaints went unanswered. These multiple attempts made Barnum jaded, and when combined with the influence of too much alcohol, set him on a dark, destructive path path. Barnum had had enough of the scamming, so one day in 1827, Barnum scammed them back. He found several small chunks of glass and polished them to look like diamonds. He sold them to several people whom had scammed him in the past, swindling them out of a large sum of money. He pulled the same scam a few weeks later, same result. Barnum felt powerful over the upper class of New Orleans, which emboldened him to scam them to further fuel his alcoholism. It all went downhill in 1829 when a poker game went sour and Barnum was chased out of New Orleans. His crew mates had no idea what he was doing. When they found out, Barnum was swiftly fired and booted off in the bustling town of Defiance, Iowai.
Alone and in a hopeless situation, Barnum turned to scamming once again. He spent the next two years wandering around Iowai and western Virginia. He’d go from town to town, scamming people out of their money under various names such as Andy Johnson, Tom Wayne, and Peter Parker. Despite scamming countless people, Barnum was never caught, but then he went too far and scammed the Second Consul of Iowai. The Second Consul immediately issued a warrant for his arrest and Barnum became a fugitive. State police chased Barnum across the state, eventually cornering him in Haddonfield. When all seemed lost for Barnum, he scammed one more person out of their money, buying himself a one-way ticket on a wagon train headed to Praise, Dakota.
In Praise, Barnum came face to face with famed explorer Merriweather Lewis. Through this meeting, Lewis started Barnum on the path to redemption. In the dead of winter, 1832, Barnum converted to AFC faith and gave up drinking for good. Barnum found work as part of the local militia. During the Sioux-Praise War Barnum fought valiantly, successfully stopping a raid on the settlement and killed seven Sioux warriors. In 1834, he married Jamie Curtis, with whom he’d have six children.
American settlers had slowly trickled their way into Louisiana ever since the end of the War of 1812. By 1835 explorers had been up to the modern state of Redemption and as far south as modern Lewisland, but no explorer had successfully been to the land of Oregon. Lewis had wanted to explore Oregon himself for years, but familial and mayoral obligations kept him in Praise. Despite the setback, though, Lewis still wanted to be the first American to reach Oregon and planned on mounting an expedition when his youngest son turned 16, which was in 1836. To discourage others from making the trek, Lewis held the threat of banishment over everyone’s heads. The threat of banishment, which was a guaranteed death sentence in those days, deterred most would-be explorers. Barnum, though, was not most people. During his time in the militia, he met several others whom wanted to explore out West but were afraid of banishment. Barnum convinced 15 of them to join in a secret trek West. They discretely gathered supplies and were all set to depart in the evening of May 14th, 1835, but as they were leaving Praise, they were stopped by none other than Meriweather Lewis himself. Lewis threatened banishment as usual, but that did not stop the group. They just ignored Lewis and went on their way.
By late November, Barnum’s crew had reached the mouth of the Tagoma River at which point they set up a camp nearby, which was named Camp Reliable. The winter at Camp Reliable was harsh. By February 1836, only eight members of the expedition crew remained. They were saved by an act of ignorance of some Russian fur trappers. In a rush, they had left multiple sacks of potatoes behind. Barnum came up with an ingenious idea to make them more filling. He used the oil from the few salmon they had caught, chopped the potatoes, and fried them in an iron skillet, creating what is now known as phinnies. According to the expedition crew, Barnum’s quick thinking and innovation staved off starvation that Winter.
Once winter turned to spring Barnum and his crew set out to explore the rest of the Pacific coast, making it as far South as northern California. He then went North with the intent of also exploring southern Alyeska. They only made it about 100 miles North of the Tagoma River before the Russians forced them to back to Camp Reliable. Following what later came to be known as the “Alyeska Incident”, the crew went South, reaching the Yuta Sea. They originally planned to return to Camp Reliable for a second Winter, but a freak storm in late October forced them to set up a makeshift camp at modern Shoshoni Falls, Oregon.
When Winter turned to Spring, Barnum lead them back to Praise.
The Unauthorized Expedition, Herman Vanderslik, 1899
Barnum returned to Praise on May 1st, 1837. Lewis initially stood at the gates to the fortified settlement, but Barnum was let back in when, as one witness put it, “threw map after map at [Lewis’] feet. He stood there in awe as Barnum entered the village triumphantly.” Along with the maps of the Oregon territory, Barnum brought back native artifacts from the various tribes he met, sketchbooks of flora and fauna, redwood logs from California, and mineral, plant, and seed specimens. However, these all paled in comparison to Barnum’s biggest prize: the famed Shoshoni women, Sacagawea. Barnum claims he found her in the burning wreckage of her village and saved her life. She was the only one left, the rest of her village, including her husband and children, were dead. She could only speak French but quickly learned to speak decent (albeit broken) English. Lewis quickly changed his tune on Barnum, becoming close a close friend of Barnum’s. Lewis suggested they go to Philadelphia to meet directly with the Chief Consuls. Barnum wholeheartedly agreed. They were to set out to Philadelphia that summer, but Barnum’s wife fell pregnant with their second child.
Sacagawea. She'd spend the rest of her life working as a nanny for Barnum's children and later traveled with him until her death in 1879.
In late February 1838, Barnum, Sacagawea, and Lewis set off for the capital. Managing to avoid capture in Iowai (since Barnum was still wanted by the state of Iowai at this point), they made it to Philadelphia on April 3rd. Lewis expected to be granted audience with the Chief Consuls, but they ignored him, officially because of “more important matters”, but most likely it was out of spite for not getting all of Louisiana under Yankee control. Lewis wanted to go home, but Barnum wanted the people to see the work he had done for the country. Using the last of the money they had, Barnum and Lewis set up a travelling display of the former’s “Unauthorized Expedition” to Oregon. Over the course of a week, it exploded in popularity. When they moved to Penn Square, it was filled to the brim with people there to see the exhibit. On July 8th, Chief Consuls Aaron Peyton and Zachary Gibbs finally met with Barnum and Lewis, congratulated the former, bought copies of Barnum’s maps for the government, and issued a Consular Pardon for Barnum’s past crimes in Iowai.
By the end of summer, the exhibit had garnered so much attention that every major newspaper in the nation spoke of Barnum and his Unauthorized Expedition, calling him a trailblazer, great explorer, and “America’s Marco Polo” amongst other names. On September 1st, Barnum and Lewis left Philadelphia, asking people to head to Praise to go out west themselves. On the way back to Praise, the duo took their exhibit to New York City, Pittsburgh, Sandusky, Crawford City, Centralia, Shicagwa, Milwaukie, and finally Fort Pike. At each stop, people lined up to see the treasures of the Unauthorized Expedition and some even joined Barnum directly to go out West. By the time the group reached the Michigania-Dakota border, the group of three had swelled to 30. When they reached Praise on December 1st, there were 321 people in total waiting for Barnum to lead them West. During the winter of 1839, a tent city appeared outside of Praise to house these future pioneers.
Barnum lead the 321 settlers out of Praise on April 6th, 1839. They set out on the same path Barnum had blazed three years earlier, the famous Oregon Trail. At various points, some split off from the main group to establish their own settlements like Aurora, the future capital of Redemption. When they reached Camp Barnum on September 11th, 140 people remained. They expanded Camp Reliable, which was renamed Barnumsburg by popular vote. Over the years the city’s population ballooned, reaching 110,000 in 1905.
Barnumsburg, circa 1900
Barnum served as the mayor of Barnumsburg until 1852 when he suddenly resigned. Many thought he would just retire to his orchard outside of the city, but that was far from the truth. He wanted to do something different. Something big. Over the next three years, he used his small fortune to charter a ship and assemble a crew of the finest sailors and navigators. It was to be an expedition like no other, it would be the Greatest Expedition on Earth! After three years of meticulous planning and money received from investors, Barnum’s ship, the OKCV Pacifica, set sail from Barnumsburg on July 27th, 1855.
While it was billed as the “Greatest Expedition on Earth”, it was nothing but a glorified trading route. Old Kinderhook rented the ship to Barnum on the condition he deliver goods to Auckland and Sydney, both in Australia, and that he deliver “something exotic” to the Van Buren family. Over the course of the four-year-long journey, Barnum visited the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Australia, the Dutch East Indies, Ceylon, South Africa, Brazil, and Argentina’s Tierra Del Fuego. He charted maps and collected fossils, rocks, exotic clothes, and plant specimens. However, these pale in comparison to his greatest discovery: the last dodos. While anchored on a small island off French Mauritius, Barnum noticed a strange bird on the shores. When he investigated, he found in total ten dodos and 3 nests full of eggs. Barnum took six of them, three males and females, and all the eggs. Unfortunately, two dodos perished on the voyage to Barnumsburg. The pair’s remains were stuffed.
A map showing the route of the "Greatest Expedition on Earth"
Barnum stepped ashore in Barnumsburg on August 8th, 1859, where he was given a hero’s welcome. Sending the stuffed dodo to the Van Buren family, Barnum returned home to spend time with his family and wait out the war, at which point he would go East and show off the spoils of the Greatest Expedition on Earth. But it would not be. Tragedy struck Barnum at this time when his oldest son, Phineas Curtis “P.C.”, was killed in action during the Battle of New Orleans. Stricken by grief, Barnum cancelled his trek East and became a recluse. During his period of isolation, the orchard fell into disrepair. People would often turn up wanting to see the famous “last dodos”, but Barnum always shooed them away. One day in 1861, that changed. No one knows why he did it, but everyone knows the outcome: people quickly flooded Barnum Orchard to see the dodos, coming from as far away as California and Alyeska. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1863 only added to the tsunami of gawking tourists, now trickling in from all over the Union. Barnum made a small fortune and realized quickly he could make a lot more if he had more to offer. He opened his collection of loot from the Greatest Expedition to the public for viewing. More people showed, but they wanted more, so Barnum bought two bison. The people kept coming and wanted to see more. The desire to travel East roared to life like a dormant furnace being lit for the first time in years. Barnum took out a loan, bought a train, and took his collection East.
The crowds grew even more, but they did not last. Attendance dropped like a rock and Barnum nearly went bankrupt. Down to his last thousand dollars, Barnum stopped his train outside of his old stomping grounds – Pittsburgh. Walking around the city, he kept hearing people wishing to see the wonders Wild West in person. A stroke of inspiration hit Barnum and he and his employees went to work. An old circus tent was bought and a site secured. On March 2nd, 1866 the Wonderful World Circus debuted. It had his collection and exotic animals from before, but those were just the side attraction. The main event was the Wild West Stampede, full of trick shooting, riding, and lassos. While it was rudimentary and highly chaotic, the people loved the performance. The next four shows were entirely sold out. While circuses had been around for decades, none were as hyped as Barnum’s was. Making use of the railroad, Barnum’s show crisscrossed the East for the rest of spring and summer, with a final show being held outside of Barnumsburg in late September.
1867 through 1871 saw the show reformatted into a more traditional circus. The Wild West Stampede, while a decent money maker, was not as popular as the traditional acts found in traditional circuses. It also didn’t help that the “performers”, whom were originally hired to put up and take down the exhibits, had mostly quit for other jobs. Barnum believed that he could make even more money with a traditional circus rather than his Wild West Stampede. Cowboys shooting guns became acrobats, clowns, and jugglers while horses and bison gave way to elephants and lions forced to do tricks by whip-happy tamers. It was at first more popular than the Western show, but other like-minded individuals quickly copied the idea of circus trains, like-minded individuals whom had more to offer than Barnum ever could. As more competitors came up, Barnum’s profits and attendance numbers dropped like a rock. Seeing the writing on the wall, Barnum sold the Wonderful World Circus to Adam Forepaugh in late 1871. Barnum, however, wasn’t finished. He had plans for an entirely new show. One common complaint Barnum heard throughout the years was the lack of the Wild West Stampede. Fans of the original show constantly begged for its return, much to the chagrin of the new performers. After the sale of his circus, Barnum decided to revisit the concept of a wild west show. Focusing solely on the wild west, Barnum set out to find performers. He spent most 1872 scouring the western states for talent.
Bison Bill Carver (Left) and Marshal Canary (Right)
Barnum’s Wild West Spectacular premiered on March 7th, 1873. The show had it all; trick riding, sharp shooters like Bison Bill Carver and Marshal Canary, Sacagawea telling tales of the Sioux, reenactments of “Wild West History” like the saving of Sacagawea and the Pony Express, and an authentic recreation of an Indian village, in which members of the Klammath tribe that Barnum hired would go about their daily lives in what was the first human zoo. The people just enjoyed it. Despite an incident in 1875 where a member of Barnum’s sharpshooters known as Wild Bill Hickok killed a teenaged girl named Phoebe Mosely in a shooting contest gone wrong, Barnum’s Wild West Spectacular experienced a continued growth in popularity. In 1880, the show premiered in Paris, attended by Caesar Napoleon III. After Paris, the show went to Frankfurt, Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Amsterdam. The European tour solidified the mythos of the Wild West across the western world. In 1884, Phineas Barnum finally retired, handing control of the show over to Bison Bill, whom had been increasingly running the day to day operations since 1882. Barnum spent the rest of his days at his orchard in Oregon, perishing in a fire with his son, Governor Lewis Barnum, on June 19th, 1886.
Barnum’s Wild West Spectacular (renamed to the Wild West Spectacular in 1884) continued well after Barnum’s death. Under Bison Bill, the show traveled the world, going all the way to South America and even to Holy Nippon. In addition, new shows like the diving horses and mock high noon shootouts joined the lineup of crowd magnets. Despite its high popularity at the turn of the twentieth century, the Wild West Spectacular could not survive the Great World War. The seizure of rail lines for military purposes and the Beckie Flu cancelled the show for most of the war and the changing post-war world just wasn’t interested in the remnants of a bygone age. Bison Bill took his diving horse act to a pleasure pier New Jersey, where horse diving continued to entertain guests for years to come.
Barnum’s flock of dodos, which had expanded to 25 the time of his death, was divided and donated to several zoos across the country. To this very day, dodos can be found at zoos across the country and abroad.
The Klamath performers experienced a better fate than that of the dodos. Barnum’s own exhibit of “savage peoples” naturally inspired copycats both in and out of the Republican Union. One of these copycats was another Klamath exhibition right outside of Barnumsburg. After the Wild West Spectacular was closed due to the war, they all left and joined the exhibition. Reunited, the remnants of the Klamath tribe entertained guests for years to come.
 Butterflies Galore. ITTL, Barnum’s middle name is his dad’s first name, and he was born on July 4th, one day earlier than OTL.
 Named after Robert Fulton, whom in OTL and TTL invented the steamboat. Unable to leave America like he did in OTL, he focuses on building a shipping company with steamboats. His company was later bought out by Old Kinderhook in 1826 shortly after his death.
 OTL Cairo, Illinois
 OTL Columbia River. ITTL named after the Tagoma Mountains (OTL Cascade Mountains).
 French Fries
 Great Salt Lake.
 OTL Idaho Falls, ID
 Capital of Iowai. Located at OTL’s Terre Haute, IN.
 OTL St. Paul, MN. Like OTL, a fort was built here named after Zebulon Pike. Unlike OTL, the name sticks.
 Old Kinderhook Commercial Vessel
 Another small divergence from OTL
 This is a real person who ran a real circus IOTL
 Doc Carver and Calamity Jane, respectively
 Annie Oakley
It took me MONTHS to finish, but it's done. The life of Barnum is finally done. Now I can move onto other things.
I expect one of the first talking pictures will be Western shows.
@DocBrown What happened to the Dodos?
They were taken to zoos and bred in captivity.
Reisch Beer: America's Beer, Part I
Operating out of Haddonfield, Iowai, the Reisch Company has provided the Betters of Society with drinks they can truly enjoy since 1843. From humble beginnings, Reisch came to dominate in the alcohol industry, second only to Republica Beer. The story of Reisch begins with one man: Franz S. Reisch.
Franz Sales Reisch was born in the Duchy of Baden in 1808. An orphan at age 17, he apprenticed at a brewery and seven years later emigrated to the New World, arriving in New Orleans in 1832. Reisch intended to build a brewery in New Orleans but found that water there was not compatible with brewing beer. Reisch relocated to the Republican Union, arriving in Haddonfield on July 4th, 1833. Reisch originally planned on continuing to Shicagwa, but he had heard (incorrectly) that the water from the Great Lakes was too salty for beer, and he bought land in Haddonfield. He first did various oddjobs around the town such as selling firewood, making barrels to sell to meat companies, and hewing logs for cabins. By 1837, Reisch had saved up enough money to sail back to Germany, where he married Susannah Maurer. After saving more money, Reisch bought a site for his brewery on Kelly Branch Creek 1842, with his first beer going on sale the next year.
Over the next 20 years, the Reisch Brewery expanded at a slow pace, but it was enough to warrant Reisch to open a picnic ground for his workers in 1855. 1862, however, proved to be a turning point for Reisch Brewery. Throughout Cuba breweries were being seized from the local aristocracy and put up to auction to help pay for the Great American War. Having served in the armed forces during the war, Franz’s son, Frank, had first priority in the purchasing of Cuban assets. With the help of his father, Frank purchased a rum distillery in Hakluyt. That same year Frank joined the family business, which was renamed to F. Reisch and Son. Thanks to Frank’s purchase, the yearly output of alcohol by the company more than doubled from 2,000 barrels in 1862 to 4,500 in 1863. In 1872, the yearly output reached 8,000. The next year, Reisch began selling Frankie's Rum, the first major commercial rum in the world.
Tragedy struck in 1873 with the death of Franz Reisch at the hands of Smallpox. Frank took over the company and renamed it to Reisch Brewing Company. Under Frank’s leadership, the company underwent expansion, opening breweries across the Midwest and South, including one in New Antioch. In addition, Reisch became the first company to use refrigerated train cars in 1876, allowing for their beer to travel further across the country than ever before. Meanwhile, Frankie’s Rum became popular in its own right, becoming the alcohol of choice for the Betters of the Caribbean and South. Frank responded to the increased demand for Frankie’s Rum by building a new giant brewery just outside of Hakluyt, including a company town for his employees (at least the Betters, that is), the aptly named Reischtown, in 1885.
The demand for Frankie’s was met, but at a great cost. The construction of Reischtown sent the company into serious debt. This debt prevented further expansion and even lead to retraction. Combined with the rise of competitors like Republica Beer and Cooperstown Beer and Lager, Reisch’s sales plummeted further. When Frank passed away in 1896 and his brother George Sr. took over, the company had shrunk considerably. What once was once a corporate empire covering everything East of the Mississippi except for New England became a shell of its former self, only found in Iowai, Ohio, Osage, the South, and the Caribbean. George Sr.’s leadership saw the creation of new brands such as Gold Top and Wild Malt joining the existing brands of Sangamo and Frankie’s Rum. They boosted revenue, but it did not bring Reisch back to its former glory. While it was big enough to join the Distillery Clan, Reisch was at serious risk of going out of business at the outbreak of the Great World War. But wars always make great business opportunities for the cunning and strong.
Advert for Reich's Sangamo circa 1900
During the war, Reisch secured a contract with the Navy to provide beer for the soldiers. While it wasn’t as big as the contracts Cooperstown and Republica received, it was enough to keep the company going. After the war, though, saw a change in fortune for Reisch. During the division of Canadian and Quebecois breweries, George Sr.'s cunning and charisma managed to convince Colonel Ford Motors to back their takeover of 50% of all breweries in Quebec and 75% of seized breweries in California. Profits skyrocketed for Reisch as a result. In 1916 Reisch Brewing Co. went public on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, raising $20 million in capital, which it used to buy out several small competitors such as Barnumsburg Brewery, Anheuser & Co., Georgia’s Finest, and Sandusky Sandgoose. In 1930 Reisch Brewing Co. was the third largest beer manufacturer in the Republican Union with no signs of growth slowing down.
 Brewer’s Grove, which I’ve mentioned before
 OTL Santiago de Cuba. ITTL, renamed after Richard Hakluyt.
 Adolphus Busch never immigrated to America ITTL, so the company remained small under Eberhard Anheuser. The other beer companies I mentioned in addition to Anheuser are entirely fictitious.
NOTE: Reisch Beer did exist IOTL and was based in Springfield, IL. I found this while researching Abe Lincoln. If you want to read about the history of the real world equivalent, I have linked below the only "in depth" source I could find on Reisch.
I'm still preparing the secret society chapter! First however, I thought I would revise an old favorite to make it canon consistent...
Hark the Sound of Refreshed Men's Voices: The Cokie-Cola Story
The Confederation of the Carolinas is a hot, near tropical nation, especially in the summertime. "It ain't just the heat, it's also the humidity!" is practically a Carolinian summer battle cry. As a result, every summer, and throughout the year, the people of the Carolinas and her colonies desperately crave a cool drink. Lemonade, Iced Sweet Tea, Mint Juleps, Beer, Gin and Tonics, and old fashioned water are consumed as frequently as possible to try and beat the oppressive heat. In the 1880's, the Yankee drink Sweet Victory was introduced to the Carolinas, but wasn't very popular due to the race of its inventor. The Hampton Administration would actually ban Sweet Victory and other cocaine derived products, ostensibly because "the cocaine powder contained in such products is dangerous, and inspires crazed behavior in those who consume it." This was in reality just a cover to ban the "Nigger Powder" by the famously racist Hampton III, but was ironically not that far off the mark in terms of the drug's detrimental effects. George Carver tried to get President Custer to force the Carolinians to overturn the law, and while Custer was sympathetic, he didn't think it was wise to "upturn relations with one of our closest allies over some soda and candies."
The lack of Sweet Victory in the Carolinas meant that there was a vacuum in the nation's drink market. The closest there was to a competitor was the "Zeke's Tonic" from the Pemberton's Pharmacy chain founded by Ezekiel Pemberton, a Columbia native. However costs eventually exceeded demand and by 1889 the tonic was no longer being produced. Into this void stepped an enterprising man from New Bern and UNC graduate named Caleb Bradham. Bradham was a trained pharmacist who was looking for some way to make a fortune. His first pharmacy failed after 2 years in business, and he was stuck running a tiny apothecary out of his home laboratory. In his spare time he experimented with different formulas for products, trying to find a miracle product to make him rich. On April 21st 1893, the 23 year old finally found his miracle product. Mixing kola nut syrup, sugar, and carbonated water on a whim, he found the resultant concoction extremely tasty. Bradham quickly gathered a few of his apothecary customers, young and old, men and women, and offered them a free taste. They universally loved the new beverage, which he dubbed Brad's Drink. Business at his home apothecary boomed, with the line stretching around the block as people got their nickels ready to buy an 8oz mason jar of cola (he couldn't afford bottles or glasses so he used the spare jars instead).
Caleb Bradham circa 1893
Bradham took his rather significant profits and bought ingredients, iceboxes, 2,000 bottles, and a horse-drawn carriage just in time for the summer. Using some salvaged cloth and spare paint, he put banners on each side that read "BRAD'S DRINK.... THE TASTE OF THE CAROLINAS!" complete with Moon and Stars flags crudely painted on to them. Finally, he gave a small amount of cash to a local hillbilly whose Christian name is lost to time, but who the locals called "Hoppin Harry." Harry would play his old banjo and would join Bradham in singing "ol time hillbilly jigs" and patriotic music such as "Hark the Sound" and "We Took a Little Trip." They started riding at 11am on a sunny June Saturday, and after restocking the cart several times, every bottle had been sold by 4pm. Caleb Bradham had just struck gold.
Bradham began making contracts with local fried chicken and BBQ stands to sell his cola, alongside his daily cart rides. He also officially made a contract with the local New Bern Bottling and Canning Corporation to bottle his product more efficiently. People came for miles, some riding an entire day, just to sample Brad's Drink. However, his big break really came when he met with Ezekiel Pemberton, the aforementioned former soda manufacturer, and who agreed to sell Brad's Drink throughout the Carolinas via his pharmacy chain. However, both men agreed that before going national they would need to rebrand. After all, in the rest of the country the reaction to a name like Brad's Drink would likely be "Who in the hell is Brad and why should I give a damn about his drink?" Eventually, they decided to indulge in a little Carolinian nationalism (both men were ardent patriots) and dubbed the drink Cokie-Cola, after the "Cokie" nickname of their people. Bottles started hitting shelves across mainland Carolina in 1896. This patriotic rebranding was accompanied by an ad campaign denigrating Sweet Victory (which was still being smuggled across the border) with claims ranging from the truthful yet unsubstantiated (cocaine can give you a heart attack) to the flat out ridiculous (Sweet Victory is a Negro plot to rape white women!). Seemingly overnight, the newly rebranded Cokie-Cola was selling out everywhere making both Pemberton and Bradham a fortune. To help boost sales even more, Bradham hired a fleet of "Cokie-Cola Wagons" like the one he'd run with Hoppin Harry, with banjo players accompanying every driver, and singing the same kinds of songs Bradham and Harry had back in New Bern. The Cokie-Cola Wagons would become a cultural icon of Carolina, and the fleet would expand to a wagon in every town before long.
By 1903, Bradham was one of the richest men in Carolina, and was married with 3 children. He had bought out Pemberton from his pharmacy chain but kept the Pemberton brand. Now, he was looking to diversify. He bought several massive plantations in Jacksonland and began growing sugar for his drinks, as well as chocolate. He then bought several peanut farms in South Carolina. Caleb Bradham was about to invent another delicious treat. Using the Yankee invention of peanut butter, Bradham created a line of chocolates branded as "Cokie Chocolate Cups" that had a gooey, salty peanut butter center. Sales skyrocketed, and the nation's children were soon giving Mr. Caleb Bradham all of their pocket money while their parents "tithed to the Church of Cokie-Cola as often as they do to the Presbyterian Church." With his position secure, the pharmacist turned tycoon began actively participating in Cokie politics, donating heavily to the Common Sense Party. Bradham met consistently with both Chancellors Gamble, and was widely regarded as a shadow adviser. He also gave generously to the Presbyterian Church CoCaro, and was in turn given lavish praises as a "true example of Carolinian Christianity." However, with the Great War on the horizon, Mr. Bradham was preparing to once again expand his operations.
When the Great War exploded in 1910, the Cokie-Cola Corporation cut a special deal with the Carolinian government. Soda fountains would be set up in military bases and run by the corporation, while additional bottles of cola, as well as Cokie Chocolate Cups, would be sold in commissaries for a substantial discount compared to civilian prices. This idea made Bradham a fortune despite the discounted prices, and made him feel genuinely good about "pepping up the boys on the front." The Cokie-Cola corporation also released the limited edition Andy Jackson bottles which had a depiction of Carolina's Founding Father atop a striding stallion embossed on the glass. Every single cent earned from the sale of the Andy Jackson bottle colas was donated directly to the war effort, and it's estimated that the proceeds from these bottles bought a dozen artillery pieces, 750,000 rounds of ammo, 1,200 rifles, 2,000 helmets, and 900 yards of bandage cloth for Carolina. Cokie-Cola and Cokie Chocolate Cups would also be introduced to the Brittanic Union when the Ulstermen Brigades were deployed to help in the invasion of Ireland, and thousands of Protestant children in Northern Ireland would distinctly remember Cokie-Cola as "the taste of Freedom from the Popish oppressor-aggressors." When the Embassy Massacre occurred several years later in 1920, Bradham revived his old deal with the government and thousands of Cokie boys were again guzzling Cokie-Cola in between bouts of slaughtering the Illuminist hordes. The Cokie-Cola Corporation also issued the "Second Edition" Andy Jackson bottles, this one featuring the Chancellor standing on top of a dead dueling rival, meant to symbolize Carolina's victory over Illuminism. In one of the most famous moments of the Germanian Civil War, members of the Wade Hampton Volunteer Brigade poured 4 bottles of Cokie-Cola on the ashes of the Carolinian Embassy, one for the Ambassador, and one for each member of his family. This act cemented the soda's place in the hearts and minds of the Carolinian people. Cokie-Cola wasn't a corporation or a drink, it was a national institution that was to be cherished and defended at all costs. The Germanian Civil War also popularized Cokie-Cola in Scandinavia and West Germania, as the soldiers freely shared their bottles with the locals. The 1920's would see the first international shipments of Cokie-Cola and Cokie Chocolate Cups to Britain, West Germania, and Scandinavia, although these orders were still fairly limited. Nonetheless this was seen as a triumph by the Carolinian people, who viewed the soda's standing in the Free World as a comment on their own national power and prestige. This upsurge of popularity also caused sales to increase at home, and the Cokie-Cola corporation would become the largest single private employer and corporation in the nation.
The official logo of the Cokie-Cola Corporation
A Cokie-Cola Wagon in New Jacksonville, East Carolina circa 1922
A factory manufacturing Cokie Chocolate Cups in 1919
"Big Brad," a Carolinian Great War era artillery piece paid for by the sale of 1st Edition Andy Jackson Cokie-Cola, and named after Caleb Bradham.
Coki-cola is going to make the time Pepsi had an army look like children play.
I think those Jackson Cokie Cola bottles are going to be collector's items. Followed by the President's Series and then Anniversary editions.
THEY DIDN'T OWN IT, they funded it...how they got all that sugar? from africa?
How much unhappy is carver and co with that black propaganda?
That is true, the Cokie-Cola Company donated funds to buy those guns for the government. I imagine they might have a small security force to secure their factories and plantations, but nothing too big or shocking by OTL standards.
As for Carver, he was pretty irritated but he can't do much. Plus anti-black propaganda is an open secret about Carolina in the Union. None of it ever really makes its way North, and all of Afro-Carolinians have been deported so there's no real impetus to do anything about it. At the end of the day all he can do is shake his head and sell his product somewhere else.
Are you referring to that time Pepsi a chunk of the Russian navy and briefly became a Great Power?
Maybe to protect their shipments, Cokie Cola can buy some old Germanian subs ships for pennies.
What’s the status of marijuana in the RU and Carolina? Asking because Cokie Cola or someone else could position themselves as the mirror of Sweet Victory. If Sweet Victory is the get up and go energy soda, chocolate or soda using THC extracts are the choice for the discerning customer looking to relax after work or on a lazy afternoon. THC infused sodas actually exist IRL but I imagine the Madnessverse can go much further with them
So, I remember a while back in the main thread that someone suggested the idea of a Madness March Madness. While it is no longer March, I do think a tournament of sorts between our favorite characters is in order. Imagine it as almost like a cosmic boxing match/war/economic competition. This tournament is going to be between the various Yankees/Fascists. If it's popular, I'll put together other one for the non-Fascist world. Winners will be decided by popular vote. Without further ado ladies and gents, I present to you the first round of:
-THE FIRST ANNUAL PINNACLE MAN COMPETITION-
The Honorable Colonel Charles Goodyear I (Colonel Goodyear Enterprises)
The Honorable Colonel Pierce (Pierce Munitions)
The Honorable Colonel Henry Ford (Colonel Ford Motors)
The Honorable Colonel George Washington Carver (Sweet Victory)
Joe Oswald (Phoenix Oil)
Charles Goodyear Iwasaki (Mitsubishi)
The Venerable Chancellor Andrew Jackson (Confederation of the Carolinas)
The Venerable Chancellor Adelbert Upjohn Gamble IV (Confederation of the Carolinas)
His Excellency President Abraham "Strong Abe" Lincoln (Republican Union)
Custer Youth Brigade Headmaster-Marshal Theodore Roosevelt (Republican Union)
His Excellency Director-General Winston Churchill (Brittanic Union)
His Excellency President Joseph Custer Steele (Republican Union)
His Excellency President George Armstrong Custer (Republican Union)
ORRA Supreme Chief George Dewey (Republican Union)
Religious Leaders Division:
His Excellency Reverend-Colonel Billy Sunday (Republican Union)
The Blind Christian Gentleman Mr. Tobias (Republican Union)
The Honorable Dr. Charles Marx (Republican Union)
The Prophet Aaron Burr (Republican Union)
To Jehovah Be the Glory! All Hail Gentlemen, and may the True Pinnacle Man Triumph!
Please tell me Cokie Chocolate Cups are based on a real candy
They're basically Reese's, but in Carolinian.
Alright folks, I'm gonna wait till Monday for voting on the first round of the Pinnacle Man Competition to end, then maybe make like a fake "sports broadcast" detailing some insane happenings in each match. Then the next one round will be up. One of the winning businessmen will need a bye period b/c there will be an odd number of winners. May the most Pinnacle man win!
Separate names with a comma.