Glass bottle containing Kola Compound elixir, England, 1920-1950

1920-1950 in London
Parke, Davis and Company Limited

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Glass bottle containig kola compound elixir prepared by Parke, Davis and Co. London, English, 1920 to 1950. Front view.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Brown glass bottle containing kola compound elixir prepared by Parke, Davis & Co. London, English, 1920-1950

The active ingredient in kola nuts is caffeine. Kola nuts are the seeds of the kola tree and are chewed in many African countries for their stimulating effects. These same effects have been used in clinical biomedicine, especially in relation to the heart and the nerves, an example of a similar treatment being used across different medical traditions.

In this example, made by Parke, Davis & Co, kola nuts have been added to celery seeds and coca. Coca also has stimulating effects, whereas celery seeds were used as a sedative. The first cola soft drinks were made from kola nuts.


Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Object Number:
glass and stopper, cork
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • vessel
  • drug

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