A bottler for Coca-Cola said this of the company in the 1920s: “Coca-Cola was just as significant in building up the soft drink industry as Henry Ford was in building up the automotive industry.
You may take a trip back in time with these vintage photos of Coca-Cola delivery trucks and advertising included in this collection.
John Stith Pemberton, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, is credited with coming up with the idea for the product in the latter half of the 19th century. Initially, it was intended to be a prescription medicine but was sold as a drink to encourage sobriety.
Pemberton sold the ownership rights to Coca-Cola to a businessman named Asa Griggs Candler in 1888. Candler’s marketing strategies drove Coca-Cola’s rise to the top of the worldwide soft drink industry throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
The beverage’s name refers to two of its primary components, which were originally coca leaves and kola nuts (a source of caffeine). Coca-Cola’s present recipe is and will continue to be a highly guarded trade secret. Despite this, some other reported formulations and experimental recreations have been published.
This 1900 photo shows a Coca-Cola delivery truck with three young boys sitting on the side of the truck.
Coca-Cola’s advertising has had a tremendous impact on American culture. It is generally credited with creating the present picture of Santa Claus as an elderly man dressed in a red-and-white suit.
Although the company didn’t start using the red-and-white Santa image until the 1930s, when Haddon Sundblom was creating illustrations for the company’s winter advertising campaigns, the motif was already rather popular.
White Rock Beverages employed Santa Claus in advertisements for their ginger ale in 1923 after originally using him to market mineral water in 1915. Coca-Cola was not even the first soft drink manufacturer to adopt the present image of Santa Claus in its advertising.
Before there was a figure known as Santa Claus, Coca-Cola advertised its products using photographs of attractive young women. The first advertisement of this kind for Coca-Cola was published in 1895, and it featured Hilda Clark, a young actress from Boston, in the role of the company’s spokeswoman.
Two men stand by a Coca-Cola delivery truck in 1910.
The term “Coke” was first used as an official trademark for the product in 1941 when a series of advertisements informed customers that “Coke means Coca-Cola.” Since then, the term has become synonymous with the beverage.
The song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” produced by Billy Davis and featured in a commercial for Coca-Cola in 1971, became a successful single.
The competition between Coca-Cola and Pepsi for leadership in the soft drink business was referred to as the “cola wars” in the 1950s when the name first appeared. This competition was still going strong.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi made new products, expanded their businesses worldwide, started marketing campaigns in the United States, and sponsored sporting events.
Advertising for Coke is everywhere because one of Woodruff’s declared aims was to ensure everyone drank Coca-Cola as their beverage. This is especially the case in southern regions of the United States, such as Atlanta, which is the city where Coca-Cola was first developed.
This 1921 photo was featured in The Coca-Cola Bottler magazine.
Don Naylor, a veteran of Atlanta radio who worked as a producer for the McCann Erickson advertising agency between 1960 and 1986, was responsible for writing and producing several of the Coca-Cola television advertisements that aired during that period.
Movie stars, sports figures, and famous singers appeared in many of the early Coca-Cola commercials broadcast on television.
Pepsi launched a series of advertisements on television throughout the 1980s that depicted people taking part in taste tests to show that, according to the commercials, their product was superior to its competitors. “Fifty percent of the participants who said they preferred Coke chose Pepsi.”
In an episode that is sometimes called the “cola wars,” Coca-Cola aired advertisements to compete with Pepsi’s advertisements. One of Coke’s advertisements compared the Pepsi challenge to two chimpanzees determining which tennis ball had more fur. After that, Coca-Cola was able to reclaim its position as the industry leader.
Drivers stand beside their delivery trucks outside the bottling plant building in 1921.
Frank Mason Robinson, who worked as John Pemberton’s bookkeeper, devised the idea for the Coca-Cola logo in 1885. Robinson was the one who thought of the company’s name and selected the distinctive cursive font for the company logo.
The writing style used was Spencerian script, which was developed in the middle of the 19th century. During that period in the United States, it was the most common type of formal handwriting.
Robinson was also crucial in the early advertising for Coca-Cola and had an important position in the company. His recommendations for marketing the company to Pemberton included distributing thousands of free drink vouchers and installing publicity banners and streetcar signs throughout Atlanta.
Earl R. Dean, a bottle designer, and Harold Hirsch, the general counsel for Coca-Cola, were responsible for designing the Coca-Cola bottle, known internally as the “contour bottle.”
“a bottle which a person could recognize even if they felt it in the dark, and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was,” was the challenge that the Coca-Cola Company issued in 1915 to its bottle suppliers as well as any competition entrants to design a new bottle for their beverage that would set it apart from other beverage bottles. The general counsel for the Coca-Cola Company recommended that the company issue this challenge.
A 1931 snapshot of a truck a Coca-Cola advertising department used to install marketing and advertising displays.
The project was handed off by Chapman J. Root, president of The Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Indiana, to members of his supervisory staff. These members included company auditor T. Clyde Edwards, plant superintendent Alexander Samuelsson, and bottle designer and supervisor of the bottle molding room Earl R. Dean.
Root and his colleagues concluded that the bottle’s design should be based on either the coca leaf or the kola nut, both components of the soda, but they did not know what the appearance of either ingredient was. Dean and Edwards tried to find information about coca and kola at the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library, but they could not do so.
Instead, Dean was motivated to create the drink by an Encyclopedia Britannica photograph depicting a cocoa pod shaped like a gourd. Dean returned to the plant with his crude drawing of the pod to show it to Root. He described to Root the process by which he might alter the form of the pod so that it resembled a bottle. Root expressed his satisfaction with Dean’s performance.
The bottler’s name, Crawford Johnson & Co, is on the bottom of this Ford Model A.A. delivery truck. The photo was taken in 1931.
In preparation for the approaching scheduled maintenance of the mold-making machinery, Dean drew up a concept sketch over the following twenty-four hours, which was then given the go-ahead by Root the following morning.
Following Chapman Root’s approval of the prototype bottle in November 1915, the bottle was granted a design patent for the first time. Although the middle diameter of the prototype was bigger than its base diameter, it was never put into production because it would have been unstable on conveyor belts. Dean was able to fix this problem by reducing the width of the bottle’s central section.
At the bottler’s convention in 1916, the Dean contour bottle won the competition and was released to the public the following year.
The contour bottle quickly became the norm for the Coca-Cola Company around 1920. In 1923, an updated version of the invention was also granted a patent.
The Patent Office publishes the Patent Gazette every Tuesday; hence, the bottle was granted a patent on Tuesday, December 25, 1923; consequently, it was given the moniker “Christmas bottle.” One of the items that have become instantly recognizable worldwide is the iconic contour bottle that Coca-Cola uses.
A 1931 photograph of a panel delivery truck in El Paso, TX.
This photo of a Model 704 delivery truck was featured in a 1936 sales booklet of The White Motor Company.
Taken on what is now the downtown connector just south of 10th street. You can see old O’Keefe high school on the right, which has since been incorporated into Georgia Tech. The Georgia Tech Coliseum would be just to the right of the shot.
A Coca-Cola delivery truck sits next to a statue in 1950s Egypt.
Edinburgh Castle stands over a Coca-Cola delivery truck and Castle Street in this 1953 photo.
A 1953 photograph of a Coca-Cola delivery truck on Westminster Bridge with Big Ben and Parliament buildings in the background.
Coca-Cola was loaded aboard the Endeavor, the New Zealand Antarctic supply ship, in 1957.
Boy selling Coca-Cola from a roadside stand, 1936.
Coca-Cola signs at a roadside store marked “For Colored,” 1938.
Coca-Cola was on sale at Jimmie’s Trailer Camp on U.S. 1, outside of Washington, D.C., in 1938.
A drugstore boasts Cokes for sale and the name of the then-first lady, Puerto Rico, 1943.
A Coca-Cola sign at Anne’s Sandwich Shop on Cape Cod during the summer of 1946.
A Coca-Cola road sign beckons on the Autobahn between Munich and Salzberg, Germany, 1947.
A Frenchman considered Coke’s allure in 1950.
1937 Coca-Cola advertising.
1941 Coca-Cola ad.
1942 Coca-Cola ad.
1948 Coca-Cola advertising.
1951 Coca-Cola ad.
1956 Coca-Cola advertising for Christmas.
1959 Coca-Cola advertising.
1963 Coca-Cola ad.
1965 Coca-Cola ad.
1970 Coca-Cola ad with Raquel Welch.
1971 Coca-Cola advertising.
1977 Coca-Cola advertising.
Available for the Christmas Season, 1966.
Be Refreshed…Drive-In For Coke, 1959.
Christmas Coca-Cola advertising, 1962.
Coca-Cola advertising with a woman in a swimsuit and a man at the pool, 1956.
Coca-Cola advertising, 1938.
Coca-Cola vintage advertising, 1948.
Coke on-the-job keeps workers refreshed, 1959.
Delicious and refreshing, 1919.
Pause… Go refreshed, 1942.
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