Fascinating facts about the
S. Pemberton in 1886.
AT A GLANCE:
product that has given the world its best-known taste was born in
Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local
pharmacist, produced the syrup for Coca-Cola®, and carried
a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it
was sampled, pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for five cents a
glass as a soda fountain drink.
DID YOU KNOW?
carbonated soft drink colored usually with caramel and flavored
usually with extracts from kola nuts and sweeteners
||John Stith Pemberton
||First to invent. Entrepreneur.
||July 8, 1831 in Rome,
||August 16, 1888 in
1863 physician and chemist
Dr.Pemberton develops "Pemberton's French Wine Coca,"
1886 a new formula and a new name is given to Pemberton's beverage that
sells for a nickel a glass
1986 Frank M. Robinson, suggested the name and penned the now famous
1888 gradually sold portions of his business to various partners and to
businessman Asa G. Candler
1891 Asa Candler achieves sole ownership of the comany, at a total cost
1892 Mr. Candler formed a Georgia corporation named The Coca-Cola
1893 The trademark "Coca-Cola," used since 1886, was
registered in the USPTO on January 31
1894 the first syrup manufacturing plant outside Atlanta was opened in
1894 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Joe Biedenharn installed bottling
machins and sold Coke by the case
1895 Coca-Cola is now drunk in every state and territory in
the United States
1899 two Tennessee men secure the exclusive rights to bottle and sell
Coca-Cola in the entire U.S. .
1916 Coca-Cola deserved a distinctive package, the unique
contour bottle design is introduced
1919 Candler sells The Coca-Cola Company to Ernest Woodruff
and an investor group for $25 million.
1922 the Company pioneered the innovative six-bottle carton
1928 Coca-Cola sales in bottles had for the first time
exceeded fountain sales.
1945 "Coke®," is registered as a trademark by the USPTO
1971 "I want to buy the world a Coke" marketing campaign begins
1977 the now-familiar contour bottle shape was granted registration as a
1985 a new formula for coke is introduced. Citizens of the world say no
coca-cola, coke, coca cola, john pemberton, asa chandler, invention, history,
inventor of, history of, who invented, invention of, fascinating
It was a prohibition law, enacted in Atlanta in 1886, that persuaded
physician and chemist Dr. John Stith Pemberton to rename and rewrite the
formula for his popular nerve tonic, stimulant and headache remedy,
"Pemberton's French Wine Coca," sold at that time by most, if not all, of
the city's druggists.
So when the new Coca-Cola debuted later that year--still possessing "the
valuable tonic and nerve stimulant properties of the coca plant and cola
nuts," yet sweetened with sugar instead of wine--Pemberton advertised it not
only as a "delicious, exhilarating, refreshing and invigorating"
soda-fountain beverage but also as the ideal "temperance drink."
Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist,
produced the syrup for Coca-Cola®, and carried a jug of the new
product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sampled,
pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda
fountain drink. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup to produce a
drink that was at once "Delicious and Refreshing," .Dr. Pemberton's partner
and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, suggested the name and penned the now
famous trademark "Coca-Cola" in his unique script. The first
newspaper ad for Coca-Cola soon appeared in The Atlanta
Journal, inviting thirsty citizens to try "the new and popular soda
fountain drink." Hand-painted oilcloth signs reading "Coca-Cola"
appeared on store awnings, with the suggestion "Drink" added to inform
passersby that the new beverage was for soda fountain refreshment.
Dr. Pemberton never realized the potential of
the beverage he created. He gradually sold portions of his business to
various partners and, just prior to his death in 1888, sold his remaining
interest in Coca-Cola to Asa G. Candler. An Atlantan with great
business acumen, Mr. Candler proceeded to buy additional rights and acquire
On May 1, 1889, Asa Candler published a
full-page advertisement in The Atlanta Journal, proclaiming his
wholesale and retail drug business as "sole proprietors of Coca-Cola
... Delicious. Refreshing. Exhilarating. Invigorating." Sole ownership,
which Mr. Candler did not actually achieve until 1891, cost a total of
By 1892, Mr. Candler's flair for
merchandising had boosted sales of Coca-Cola syrup nearly
tenfold. He soon liquidated his pharmaceutical business and focused his full
attention on the soft drink. With his brother, John S. Candler, John
Pemberton's former partner Frank Robinson and two other associates, Mr.
Candler formed a Georgia corporation named The Coca-Cola
Company. Initial capitalization was $100,000.
The trademark "Coca-Cola," used
in the marketplace since 1886, was registered in the United States Patent
Office on January 31, 1893. (Registration has been renewed periodically.)
That same year the first dividend was paid; at $20 per share, it amounted to
20 percent of the book value of a share of stock.
A firm believer in advertising, Mr. Candler
expanded on Dr. Pemberton's marketing efforts, distributing thousands of
coupons for a complimentary glass of Coca-Cola. He promoted the
product incessantly, distributing souvenir fans, calendars, clocks, urns and
countless novelties, all depicting the trademark. The business continued to
grow, and in 1894, the first syrup manufacturing plant outside Atlanta was
opened in Dallas, Texas. Others were opened in Chicago, Illinois, and Los
Angeles, California, the following year.
While Mr. Candler's efforts focused on boosting soda fountain sales, another
concept was being developed that would spread the enjoyment of
Coca-Cola worldwide. In 1894, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Joseph A.
Biedenharn was so impressed by the growing demand for Coca-Cola
at his soda fountain that he installed bottling machinery in the rear of his
store and began to sell cases of Coca-Cola to farms and lumber
camps up and down the Mississippi River. He was the first bottler of
Large-scale bottling was made possible in
1899, when Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead of Chattanooga,
Tennessee, secured from Mr. Candler the exclusive rights to bottle and sell
Coca-Cola in practically the entire United States. With
contract in hand, they joined another Chattanoogan, John T. Lupton, and
began to develop what is today the worldwide Coca-Cola bottling
A variety of straight-sided containers was used through 1915, but as
soft-drink competition intensified, so did imitation. Coca-Cola
deserved a distinctive package, and in 1916, the bottlers approved the
unique contour bottle designed by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute,
The now-familiar shape was granted
registration as a trademark by the U.S. Patent Office in 1977, an honor
accorded only a handful of other packages. The bottle thus joined the
trademarks "Coca-Cola," registered in 1893, and "Coke®,"
registered in 1945.
In 1919, the Candler interests sold The
Coca-Cola Company to Atlanta banker Ernest Woodruff and an investor
group for $25 million. The business was reincorporated as a Delaware
corporation, and 500,000 shares of its common stock were sold publicly for
$40 per share.
The Company pioneered the innovative
six-bottle carton in the early 1920s, for example, making it easier for the
consumer to take Coca-Cola home. The simple cardboard carton,
described as "a home package with a handle of invitation," became one of the
industry's most powerful merchandising tools. By the end of 1928,
Coca-Cola sales in bottles had for the first time exceeded
During 1886, Coca Cola's first year, sales
averaged a modest nine drinks per day. In 2004, over 1.3 billion beverage
servings are sold each day. Although Coca-Cola® was first
created in the United States, it quickly became popular wherever it went.
Today, they produce nearly 400 brands in over 200 countries. More than 70
percent of their income comes from outside the U.S., making The Coca-Cola
Company a truly global company.
Pemberton Biography from The Great Idea Finder
History of Snacks and
from The Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
by Charlotte Foltz Jones, John O'Brien (Illustrator) / Paperback - 48
pages (1994) / Doubleday
Recounting the fascinating stories behind the accidental inventions of forty
I'd Like the
World to Buy a Coke: The Life and Leadership of Roberto Goizueta
by David Greising / Paperback: 304 pages / John Wiley & Sons (June 1999)
Goizueta, a chemical engineer, who first worked for Coca-Cola in Cuba. After the
revolution, Goizueta came to the United States and went on to become the youngest
vice-president ever at Coca-Cola.
How Brilliant Marketing & Relentless Salesmanship Made
Coca-Cola the Best-Known Product in the World
by Frederick Allen / Paperback / Published 1995
A fascinating portrayal not just of Coca-Cola's corporate brilliance, but of
how it inveighed its way into the center of American, and world, consciousness.
Country, and Coca Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the
Company That Makes It
by Mark Pendergrast / Paperback - 576 pages (March 2000) / Basic Books
An objective account of Coca-Cola's history from its inception to mass production, with
the attitude of de-mythologising some of the stories the company has sold to the public.
An Advertising Art History
by Chris H. Beyer / Hardcover: 288 pages / Collectors Pr; ISBN:
1888054441; (November 1, 2000)
Page after page of pretty young women posing with the Atlanta elixir. The "Coca-Cola
Girl" was the image the company preferred for pitching its potion, from the 1890s to
ON THE SCREEN:
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / 76311 / Less than $25.00
From sugar, water and carbon dioxide has come a $25 billion a year
industry that provides some 15 billion gallons of soda a year in a
kaleidoscope of flavors--including turkey-and-gravy (for Thanksgiving,
of course). Inspired by miracle mineral waters, advanced by small town
pharmacists, the story of soft drinks is the story of American ingenuity
Coca-Cola - The
History of an American Icon (2001)
Video / NTSC format (US and Canada only) / Color, B&W / ASIN: B00005M91I / Less than
The history of Coke is the history of its advertising, and this documentary draws on a
rich archive of print, film, and television material to show how John Pemberton's soda
recipe became such a potent symbol of American society.
ON THE WEB:
The Coca-Cola Company.
From Investor Relations to Coca-Cola Scholars, you can learn about the company
behind the brands at The Coca-Cola Company site.
of Dr. John S. Pemberton
Article by Jack Hayes. Nation's Restaurant News. Part of Library of Congress
Coca-Cola advertinsing history collection.
Coca-Cola Youth Partnership
The mission of the Coca-Cola Youth Partnership is to empower and inspire
young people to realize their potential and their dreams. We do this by
providing access to programs in the areas of Achievement, the Arts and
Athletics - all designed to give young people the opportunity to shine.
Grave of Inventor of Coca Cola
Columbus, Georgia was the home of Dr. John S. Pemberton, a pharmacist
who concocted the original (and still secret) formula for Coca-Cola
syrup. He died in 1888.
Jacob's Pharmacy, in Atlanta on Peachtree Street, was where Dr. John S.
Pemberton sold the first Coca-Cola, named by accountant Frank Robinson.
At odds were two nations: one recently battered by war and occupation, yet
clinging to its venerable civilizing mission. The other recently triumphant
in war and dedicated to its commercializing mission.
Little Barn Painting History...
The Coca-Cola spencerian script, usually accompanied by the word "drink",
popping up on the sides of buildings and barns walls all over Georgia, soon
the Coca-Cola Company was formed.
WORDS OF WISDOM:
"I want to buy the world a Coke"
"I'd like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves
I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I'd like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land."
Coca-Cola Marketing Department, 1971
DID YOU KNOW?:
- It was a prohibition law, enacted in Atlanta in 1886, that
persuaded physician and chemist Dr. John Stith Pemberton to rename and rewrite the formula
for his popular nerve tonic, stimulant and headache remedy, "Pemberton's French Wine
Coca," sold at that time by most, if not all, of the city's druggists.
- Coca-Cola trucks travel over 1,000,000 miles a day to supply
consumers with soft drinks. Today, the company and its bottlers rely on the largest commercial fleet in
- "Good To The Last Drop," a slogan later used by a
coffee company, was first used by Coca-Cola in 1908.
- 1943, an American soldier in Italy was sent two bottles of
Coca-Cola from home. Selling chances for 25˘, he raffled them off and raised $4,000 for
- John Pemberton walked the first gallon of Coca-Cola syrup to
Jacobs Pharmacy on May 8, 1886.
- The first Coca-Cola vendor in the Soviet Union set up shop
in the lobby of the Hotel Mezhdunarodnaya in Moscow in 1988. The Soviet Union collapsed
- During 1886, sales averaged nine drinks per day
(totalnot per person). Most recently, sales of Company products were more than
1.5 billion drinks per day (totalnot per person).
- Pemberton fought for the Confederacy
in the War Between the States.
- Dr. Pemberton sold the Coca-Cola
secret formula for $1,750.
Coca-Cola and Coke
are registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company
Sources in BOLD Type.
page revised March13, 2007.
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