Coca-Cola – 1886
This week’s Marketplace Spotlight is all about the world renowned Coca-Cola Company! Founded in 1886 by Dr. John S. Pemberton, the beverage that is bought by millions every day started as an experimental drink sold in a local Atlanta pharmacy. In an attempt to popularize the drink, Pemberton’s friend and bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, handed out coupons for free beverages. He also created the recognizable Coca-Cola logo in 1885.
Dr. Pemberton died two short years after starting his famous company, and never got to see his legacy that still lives on. As popularity grew, Coca-Cola wanted to serve even more groups of people. Rabbi Tobias Geffen of Atlanta kept receiving questions from other rabbis across the country inquiring if Coca-Cola was kosher for year-round consumption. The company provided him with the secret Coca-Cola formula, just as long as he kept the ingredients to himself. He saw that the beverage was made with tallow, or beef fat, as well as a grain that was not permissible during the Jewish holiday Passover, and suggested the company change them to vegetable-based kosher ingredients. The formula was tweaked, and in 1935, Coca-Cola was certified kosher.
Starting in 1915, the company wanted to filter out competition by manufacturing the same bottles all across the board. There were a lot of different and unique designs; some original bottles for the drink had a wide middle with a smaller base. Coca-Cola continued to toy with different designs until the final bottle was patented with the base wider than the middle and the top; or the “contour bottle” as the company calls it.
Cans of Coke started being manufactured in 1955. In the late 2000’s, Coca-Cola glasses were introduced, as well as aluminum Coca-Cola bottles, which were later used for their “Share a Coke” advertising campaign. Many vintage Coca-Cola bottles can be found at The PAST Antiques Marketplace!
Coca-Cola has experimented with many different flavor combinations in the past, and still are coming up with new ones! There are the standard Coke, Diet Coke, Caffeine-Free Coke and Coke Zero, as well as flavored ones like Cherry, Lime, and Vanilla still in production, and fairly new ones such as Coca-Cola Life and Coca-Cola Ginger. The Coca-Cola Company has filtered out flavors like Lemon, Orange, Raspberry, and Black Cherry Vanilla, though some are still available in Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, which can be found in many chain restaurants across the country.
Coca-Cola, as of today, is a billion-dollar franchise that hosts many more of our favorite beverages under their company name. The PAST Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village holds many Coca-Cola Company antiques and collectibles including signs, bottles, and more! To learn more information on The Coca-Cola Company and to browse our full selection of antiques and collectibles, visit The PAST Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut!