From its invention by John S. Pemberton in 1886 to today, Coca-Cola has become a staple of American and worldwide culture. As the consumerism of the mid-20th century blossomed, Coke showed itself to be a master of mass advertising, and it was this skill which helped the company dominate the American market. Indeed, even in 1886, Pemberton spent more money on ads than he made in sales, producing dozens of signs and other promotional items.

Aside from techniques that today seem quite conventional—TV and magazine ads, for example—Coca-Cola pioneered the art of brand recognition with an almost endless variety of promotional materials, from clocks to coolers to calendars. All bore the immediately recognizable logo and, in some form or another, the classic red-and-white color scheme. Many also included a Coke slogan, like “Thirst knows no season,” “Delicious and Refreshing,” and “Things Go Better with Coke.”

Collectors today can find a flood of Coke memorabilia and collectibles—part of these items’ genius in the first place was their durability and usability. To pick one example among many, Coca-Cola thermometers served a practical purpose that helped ensure a long promotional life. This set them apart from the posters and other advertisements that most store owners would routinely discard. As the decades passed and popular styles changed, so did the design of these thermometers. Some in the 1940s, for example, featured an Art Deco-inspired design.

Coke bottles, too, evolved over the decades, from a non-standardized hodgepodge of improvised glassware in the early 20th century to the now-classic curved shape known as the “Mae West” or “hobbleskirt” bottle, which was patented in November 1915 after a two-year contest to find the perfect design. Then as now, consumers instantly associate the shape with the Coca-Cola brand.

When Christmas came around, it was a safe bet that Coke would market Santa figurines, ornaments, or snow globes, all bearing the Coke logo. If Dad needed a way to bring the family’s cool, refreshing bottles of Coke on a picnic, he could buy a Coca-Cola cooler, a portable version of the larger coolers which retailers relied on to store and display Coke in the early years.

Alongside all of these items, collectors also prize oilcloth, tin, and especially porcelain Coca-Cola signs, some of which helped popularize the famous “red button” bottle cap shape. Other collectibles include tin-plate serving trays and even the vending machines themselves.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

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]

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]

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]

Clubs & Associations

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Recent News: Coca Cola

Source: Google News

Weekend calendar
Arkansas Online, November 25th

"Foundation Collection" and "Masterworks," continuing. Museum School art classes and workshops for children and adults; ... "Coca-Cola: An American Original," through Feb. 15. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. ... ESSE PURSE MUSEUM...Read more

Store owner placed orders for stolen goods, officials say
WCVB Boston, November 25th

The owner of a Chinatown store and two employees filled the store with hundreds, if not thousands of stolen and counterfeit merchandise and sold the goods at deep discounts to customers, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said...Read more

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum expansion will add space for 60 trucks
Land Line Magazine, November 25th

DeBaillie said the expansion was prompted by the fact that the current museum space showcases a little less than half of the museum's collection of rare and vintage tractors. Bill Moon, who founded the Iowa 80 Truck Stop at Walcott, began collecting...Read more

Business Highlights
New York Times, November 25th

17, after Coca-Cola Co. learned the AP had obtained emails between the company and leaders of the Global Energy Balance Network, which was founded to fight obesity. In an AP report, emails show Coke was instrumental in shaping the group — helping ...Read more

What the E. Coli Outbreak Means for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
Motley Fool, November 25th

Chipotle responded by closing all 43 restaurants in both states and replacing all food items in the stores "out of an abundance of caution." The CDC last Friday reported six additional cases in four ... The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be...Read more

Historical society to host holiday home tour
La Crosse Tribune, November 25th

Coca-Cola memorabilia is a year-round theme in Littel's home. She has been collecting signs, furnishings and knick-knacks of all kinds -- from a child's pedal car to kitchen canisters -- for more than 30 years. The home features a stained glass village...Read more

Costco Wholesale Corporation at All-Time Highs: Here Is Why
Motley Fool, November 25th

This allows Costco to sell its merchandise for razor-thin profit margins, and customers seem quite happy to pay those membership fees in exchange for the privilege of buying from Costco at conveniently low prices. The company keeps costs .... The...Read more

In Chattanooga, Coke nostalgia is big business
Chattanooga Times Free Press, November 14th

Mario Ramos, Andrea Wissing and Nick Wissing, from left, visiting from Brazil, look at items on display as the Choo Choo Chapter of the Coca-Cola Collectors Club meets at the Chattanooga Choo Choo on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn...Read more