Peru is widely, famously known today as the source of more than half of the 'world's coca and cocaine paste for illicit markets to the north; it is also recognized, in historical terms, as ancestral homeland of Andean coca leaf, of traditional use since remote pre-Inca times. Hidden in this story however is a crucial middle and transitional period: the seven decades, from the 1880s to the 1950s, when Peru was for the world market the leading if now-forgotten producer of fully licit and legal cocaine.