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]

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]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Coca Cola 1950s Antique 36" Round Button Porcelain SignCoca Cola, 1950's Pause, Serve Yourself, Light Up SignRare Vintage Coca Cola 1916 Bottle Soda Pop 19" Embossed Metal SignVintage C.1960 Coca Cola Fishtail Soda Pop Gas Station 26" Metal Sign~niceVintage 1930 Nu Icy Soda Advertising Sign Nu Grape, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper Old R. J. Dewees Dallas Texas Coca-cola Porcelain & Steel Advertising Door PushCoca Cola Aluminium Bottle Test Rare Butterfly Empty Bottle1933 Coca-cola Tin Lithograph Advertising Serving Tray "frances Dee" Coke TrayVintage 1952 Drink Coca Cola Button Soda Pop Gas Station 16" Metal SignChevrolet: C-10 Step Side Custom Bed 1970 Chevy C-30 Coca-cola TruckCoca Cola Porcelain Advertising Sign "things Go Better With Coke"Vintage 1951 Coca Cola Cardboard Sign Soda Fountain Diner Old Double Sided1930 Coca-cola Tin Lithograph Advertising Serving Tray "bather Girl" Coke TrayVintage 1927 Drink Coca Cola Soda Pop Gas Station 30" Porcelain Metal Sign1950s Coca Cola Scale Thermometer With Fishtail SignVintage 1954 Coca Cola Easel Back Cardboard Santa Claus Sign W/ 12 Pack CartonOriginal 1960'scoca-cola Fishtail Menu Board Sign Vintage Coke Soda Fountain VgOriginal Early 20thc Coca Cola Advertising Pocket Mirror W Girl + Glass Of CokeVintage Large Coca Cola Wall SignRare Coca Cola Advertising Vienna Art Plate: Female Portrait 4, Hd Beach, C.1907Rare 1930's 7up Soda Pop Porcelain Door Sign Cola Coke Blacksmith Forge, Coal, Coke, Side DraftVintage Red Embossed Metal Coca Cola Cavalier Airline Carry CoolerAntique Vintage Coke Coca-cola Soda Cooler Ice Chest Metal Sign PicnicVintage Coca Cola Lighter Group. 3 Different Flat Advertising Lughters.1960 Zippo Lighter Pepsi Cola Bottle Cap Near Mint Condition Never Used Not CokeRussian / Russia Coca-cola Promo 2016 Rare Test Prototype For Aluminium Bottle1950s Coca Cola Fishtail & Stripes Curved Back Sign Porcelain 16 X 44Rare Curb Service Coca Cola Porcelain Enamel Sign 24 X 16 InchVintage Round Porcelain Drink Coca Cola Sogt Door Push Pull Enamel Metal SignVtg Coca-cola Coke Hanging Sign 9" Diameter Soda Usa Made NiceCoca Cola SignVintage 1926 Coke Coca-cola Serving Tray Man & Woman Golf*american Art Works IncOriginal Early 20thc Coca Cola Advertising Pocket Mirror W Girl W 2 Roses On Hat1950's Drink Coca-cola Ice Cold Double-sided Metal Flange SignOriginal 1950’s Metal 24 Inch Coca Cola Button Sign Barn FindAthearn Ho Scale Coca Cola Collectible Train Set (bst 9-0813)Vintage 1950 Coca Cola Cardboard Sign Soda Fountain Old PaperRare Danbury Mint-" Coca-cola Salesman's Car " 1940 Ford Coupe Vintage 1970's Lighted Coca Cola Clock #2Vintage Coca Cola Coke Machine Zippo Cigarette Lighter Westinghouse AdvertisingOriginal Early 20thc Coca Cola Advertising Pocket Mirror W Girl W 1 Rose On HatLarge Vintage 1950s Drink Coca Cola Soda Pop Bottle Metal Sign.marked (mca 5-51)Adidas Liverpool Fc 1995 Coca Cola Cup Final Shirt Carlsberg Retro Xl Rush 9Beautiful 1950's Coca-cola 12" Button Sign.. No Reserve!!Dated 1935 Coke Coca Cola Old Porcelain Metal Sign=soda Pop=soda Fountain(4) Vtg Coca-cola Coke Soda Cola Sign Usa Made NiceLionel 6-1463 Coca-cola O27 Gauge Electric Train SetAntique Coca Cola Porcelain Advertising Sign Soda Bread Root BeerVtg. Rare 1938 Original Drink Coca Cola Metal Sign NosAntique Vintage Coca-cola Cooler5 Zippo Lighters Coca Cola, Cleveland Brown And Others!! L@@k!!(6) Vtg Coca-cola Coke Soda Cola Sign Usa Made NiceVintage Coca Cola Menu Board With Letters & Numbers Rare WagonVintage Coca Cola Tin Button Station General Store Soda Pop FountainAmber Straight Side Coca Cola Bottle-painesville Mineral Springs Co.1950's Antique Dairy Queen Metal Menu Sign Vintage Coca Cola Coke Rare Signage!Vintage 1990 Coca Cola Neon Sign 25 Inch By 11 Great Color Briteway Signs Mfg.Asheville, N.c.. Ssb Script Straight Side Coca-cola Bottle 3-07Sarajevo - Bosnia - Muvie Fest Coca Cola Aluminium Bottle - Unopen Full Bottle