Vin Mariani Part I

Part I | Part II

"[It] was a Corsican residing in Paris who led the great cocaine explosion by demonstrating how profitable it could be. Angelo Mariani was born in Bastia, a major city of Corsica, of a family of physicians and chemists. His adult life was devoted to studying coca and finding a way to capture its essence in an appetizing and marketable form. An earlier Corsican more vividly captured the world's imagination but his conquests were neither as extensive nor as long-lived as Mariani's, whose coca products were sold all over the Western Hemisphere for more than thirty years. Napoleon led his armies to glory, but Mariani performed a more useful service- he gave his followers pleasure and a sense of well-being. Pope Leo XIII, who for many years was "supported in his retirement by a preparation of Mariani's cola," expressed his ecclesiastical approval by presenting Mariani with a gold medal and citing him as a benefactor of humanity. The president of the Académie of Beaux Arts did likewise. The composers Gounod, Fauré, and Massenet extolled him in song. The most distinguished physicians of the era offered glowing testimonials:

Dr. Charles Fauvel of Paris, an early and noted cocaine researcher:

"Thanks to Mariani wine I have been able to restore the voice of many lyric artists who would have been unable without this potent agent to give their performances"

Dr. J. Leonard Corning of New York, who first suggested the use of cocaine for spinal anesthesia:

"Of Vin Mariani I need hardly speak as the medical profession is already aware of its virtues. Of the tonic preparations ever introduced to the notice of the profession, this is undoubtedly the most potent for good in the treatment of exhaustive and irritative conditions of the central nervous system."

Endorsement from eminent parsonages were so numerous that Mariani, and exceedingly shrewd public relations man, compiled and published them in a handsome biographical encyclopedia. Each well-known endorser of Vin Mariani was accorded an entry which included an outline of his career, an etched portrait and suitable quotations from his testimonials. The encyclopedia, a deluxe production with the best of paper, typography, and binding ran to several large volumes and quickly became a collector's item. Queen Victoria, on receiving a set, wrote Mariani that she considered the volumes the "finest specimens in her collection".

-pp. 56- 57, Cocaine: Its History, Uses and Effects by Richard Ashley (1976)

Continue onto Part 2.

Vin Mariani Clear Bottle
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