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Coca-Cola® History

Coca-Cola® Can [image courtesy of www.frankschrader.us]
Coca-Cola® Can [image courtesy of www.frankschrader.us]

It was May 1886 when Mr. John Stith Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, was experimenting in his laboratory and eventually created the recipe for today’s most renowned soft drink which is known as Coca-Cola®. The exact formula is still a well treasured secret.

What he invented was the syrup for what should become the base of the modern Coca-Cola®. He began selling the beverage out of the so-called soda fountains where the syrup was mixed with carbonated water. The cost: 5c per glass. It’s said that he didn’t sell more than may be 15 drinks per day – well, a decent start. His bookkeeper Frank M. Robinson created the name Coca-Cola® and additionally today’s well recognized Coca Cola® signature and font.

In 1887 Coca-Cola® as a trademark was first introduced but its registration followed later: January 31,1893. Anyway, Mr. Pemperton did not believe in his invention and sold it in 1888 to the Atlanta businessman Mr. Asa Candler. Pemberton died in 1888. Asa Candler actually saw a future, a great future, for the beverage and bought also all rights for Coca-Cola® and was in full control in 1891. He spent 2.300 Dollar altogether!

The next years the business grew and together with his brother John and Frank Robinson he founded ‘The Coca-Cola® Company’ in Atlanta in 1893.

In 1895 the beverage was already sold in every state and territory, in Mexico and Canada.

Until 1894 the beverage was still sold out of soda fountains but in that year a reseller and store owner Joseph Biedenharn from Vicksburg, MS, began filling Coca-Cola® in bottles so that he was able to ship it easier to customers. With this idea he became the first bottler of Coca-Cola®.

It was not until 1916 that the famous shaped ‘Contour’ bottle was introduced. The Root Glass Co. from Terre Haute, Indiana, was responsible for the design. The package design was not registered until 1977 because earlier attempts to protect the design were rejected.

Mr. Candler sold The Coca-Cola® Company in 1919 for 25 Million Dollar to Ernest Woodruff, an Atlanta Banker, who – and later his son – made the company to what it is today: a company with international reputation.

The company registered the name Coke as a trademark in 1945.

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