Coca-Cola began advertising its products on clocks in 1893, when such novelty advertisements were increasingly common. Coke would distribute branded clocks to sellers who bought and sold at least 100 gallons of Coca-Cola syrup per year.

The first Coca-Cola clocks were made by the Baird Clock Company of Plattsburgh, New York, and had big, round faces with Roman numerals. The first ones were generally blue rather than red, and they measured about two feet tall. Unlike the electric clocks that were to follow several decades later, they were key-wound.

At $2.75 each, clocks were relatively expensive to produce, but Coca-Cola made the investment knowing that, because of their usefulness, advertising clocks would stay on display in a store long after posters or other items had been discarded.

These early Coca-Cola clocks often bore slogans like “The Ideal Brain Tonic,” or “Delicious, Refreshing, Relieves Exhaustion.” Soon, however, simpler slogans like “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Delicious, Refreshing” became standard. Because these statements were more generic, they also helped prevent the clocks from becoming outdated or irrelevant.

In 1900, Coca-Cola switched to schoolhouse clocks, which were manufactured by companies like Welch Manufacturing. These clocks had octagonal faces, were pendulum-driven, and featured ornate engravings on their wood cases.

Five years later, schoolhouse clocks gave way to large, rectangular regulator clocks. These often had the same type of face as the schoolhouse clocks but had two panels on them—a top panel with the clock itself and a bottom panel with an illustration. One example, from 1911, has been nicknamed the “Gibson Girl” clock because its illustration of a girl in the bottom panel that resembles the artwork of the illustrator Charles Dana Gibson. In addition to these wall clocks, Coke distributed clocks meant to be displayed on the top of a store’s cash register.

Around the same time, until about 1920, Coca-Cola also produced small table and desk clocks for the home. Some of these were wind-up clocks and sported leather casing and gold-st...

In the 1930s, and especially after World War II, Coke switched from pendulum clocks to cheaper, more reliable electric clocks. On these clocks, the Coke logo was placed either on the actual face of the clock or on the glass over the face. These clocks were made of wood and metal at first, but by the 1950s, plastic was more common. These later clocks were generally not dated and were produced by a variety of manufacturers, so collectors must rely on slogans, designs, and materials to identify the year or decade in which a clock was produced.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Coca-Cola Collectibles

Coca-Cola Collectibles

The Collectibles page of the official Coca-Cola website features photos and videos on bottles, signs, advertising, … [read review or visit site]

Bobbys Coca-Cola on the Web

Bobbys Coca-Cola on the Web

This site, a group effort, is a great reference for Coca-Cola collectors. Start with the timeline and product lists… [read review or visit site]

Clockhistory.com

Clockhistory.com

Bill Stoddard's clock history site offers a trove of great reference information on clock and watch makers includin… [read review or visit site]

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

Check out this sampling of nautical and maritime items held by the U.K.'s National Maritime Museum and Royal Observ… [read review or visit site]

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Ralph and Carol Falvo's excellent collection of automobiles, petroliana, jukeboxes, soda, and general store items. … [read review or visit site]

Dan and Diana's Lux Clock Collection

Dan and Diana's Lux Clock Collection

Dan and Diana Lockett's amazing collection of several hundred novelty Lux clocks made by the Lux Clock Manufacturin… [read review or visit site]

Soda-Machines.com

Soda-Machines.com

The ultimate guide to vintage soda vending machines, from Coca-Cola to Pepsi to Royal Crown to Dr. Pepper. Start at… [read review or visit site]

Detex Watchman's Clock Album

Detex Watchman's Clock Album

Philip Haselton's guide to watchmen's time recording equipment. Includes 19th century German portables, 20th centur… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Large Metal Drive In Exit Sign Hot Rat Street Rod 32 Ford Chevy Mopar HarleyRat Rod Rat Fink Caution Metal Sign Garage Auto Shop Tools Ford Chevy Gas Pump Rare Vtg Pam Squirt Soda Back Lit Lighted Bubble Glass Electric Coke Clock Sign Icee Frozenated Fun Flavors Sign Cold Drinks Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look Large Chevrolet Super Service Sales Metal Sign Gas Can Door Push Chevy Ford GmcEmbossed Fishtail Drink Ice Cold Coca Cola Arrow Sign Bottle Coke Soda Mobil 1950's Coca Cola Sign/clockTexaco Motor Oil Can Display Rack Garage Auto Shop Gas Station Pump Sohio SunocoBeep Beep Road Runner Warner Bros Films Sign Metal Plymouth Horn Vintage Look Hooker Headers Sign Gas Oil Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look Garage Chevy Mopar FordLost In The 50's Diner Sign Drive-in Booth Speaker Table Jukebox Retro Sign Large Bowling Alley Sign Corrugated Metal Bowling Ball Bag Shoes Pin Neon LookRare Vintage Sundrop / Golden Girl Cola Clock / Sign Bottle Orange Crush CokeRat Fink Caution Sign Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look Garage Tools Ford ChevyIce Truck Stop Route 66 Sign Cold Drinks Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look GarageThe Twilight Zone Sign Tv Series Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look Garage Rat Fink Caution Sign Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look Garage Tools MancaveComplaint Department "peanuts" Sign Metal Tv Cartoon Vintage Look Ratrod GarageRat Fink Tool Warning Sign I Get Crazy Chev Ford Toyota Body Shop Snap On Matco1956 Coca-cola Clock Sign Vintage 1950s Drink Coca Cola Electric Wall Clock General Electric CokeScooby Doo Mystery Machine Hanna Barbara Films Sign Metal Vintage Look RatrodLarge Metal Drive In Exit Sign Hot Rat Street Rod 32 Ford Chevy Mopar HarleyMetal Gulf Thermometer Gasoline Gas Oil Can Auto Shop Sign Motor Mopar Harley Exit Way Out Large Metal Sign Cinema Drive-in Cafe Garage Auto Theater Room Sign'gas' Sign Metal Vintage Look Garage Blue Sunoco Shell Service Station Rat Rod Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Merrie Warner Bros Films Sign Metal Vintage Look RatrodFrisco Railroad Sign Gas Oil Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look Train Station Tracks"peanuts" Woodstock Warner Bros Sign Metal Tv Cartoon Vintage Look Ratrod GarageSunoco Arrow Sign Gas Oil Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look Garage Blue Vintage Coca Cola Clock Family Drive In Wall Hanging Plaque, Old Biker Blvd Street Sign Rat Fink Metal Vintage Look Hippie Indian Harley Big Boy Burgers Sign Embossed Metal Vintage Look Garage Gas Oil Rat Rod Cafe Coca Cola Crate Clock Radio Am Fm With Box Coke Radio Shop Rate Metal Sign Auto Shop Vintage Gas Pump Rat Rod Classic Car Swamp CoolerGulf Gasoline & Oil Vintage Mini Gas Pump Model Can Auto Shop Sign Mancave MotorNo Speed Limit Sign Embossed Metal Vintage Look Rat Rod Mancave Ford ChevyCoca Cola Limited Fifa World Cup 2014 Brazil Trophy Clock Campaign PrizeCoca Cola Fifa World Cup 2014 Brazil Gold Happy Can / Trophy ClockCoca Cola Neon Clock 15" Nib Delicious And Refreshing Not Coke Machine Sign NiceCoca Cola Wall Clock Ca.1998Rat Fink Caution Metal Sign Rat Rod Garage Auto Shop Tools Gas Pump Ford ChevyRat Fink Buggin Out Sign Vw Volkswagen Rat Rod Metal Vintage Look Garage Tools Coca-cola Wall Clock-red With Neon/electric Or Battery/has TimerVintage Coca-cola Clock Featuring "sprite/coke Boy" Patriotic Battery OperatedVintage Coca Cola Classic 3d Baseball Stadium Scoreboard Clock Diet Coke Sprite1995 Coca Cola Clock Musical TruckCoca Cola, Coke Polar Bear Bank Alarm ClockMillionaire Baseball Cards Sign Embossed Metal Vintage Look Rat Rod Mancave FordCollectable Coca Cola 1997 Coke Music Box "rock Around The Clock" Enesco Nib Lot Vintage Dollhouse Wall Hanging Items * Wood Phone Clock Coca Cola Mirror Art1950's Original Coke Clock Coca-cola Crate Alarm Clock