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    

Ford: Other Pickups 1936 Ford Truck All Steel Street Rod With Coke TrailerVintage 1933 Coca Cola Double Sided Porcelain Sign Seiko 5 Sports Speed Timer "coke Pogue" 6139 6032 Very RareOriginal Metal Coca Cola Fish Tail Sign "sign Of Good Taste" SogtRare Green Coca Cola Bottling Works Hutchinson Bottle Tuskegee Alabama Ala Hutch*rare* Seiko 5sports Speed Timer 6139 6030 "coke Pogue"Old Drink Coca-cola Drive Safely Porcelain Auto License Plate Advertising TopperVintage 1930s Pepsi Cola Double Dot General Store Metal Soda Sign Coke Vendo 39 Coca Cola Vending Machine 1954Vintage 1940's Coca Cola Coke 25¢ Soda 2 Sided Metal Sign Original 2-sided1950s Coca Cola Swihart Fishtail Light Up Clock All OriginalVintage 1950's Drink Coca Cola Button Soda Pop Gas Station 16" Metal SignVintage C.1960 Drink Coca Cola Fishtail Soda Pop Bottle 32" Metal SignOriginal Metal Coca Cola Sign Things Go Better With Coke TgbwcCoca Cola Soda Sign 1958Vintage 1950s Coca-cola Zippo Lighter Service Award Pat No. 2517191Vintage Coca-cola Tin Metal Coke Sign Soda Pop Drink Beverage King Size Ad Store12" Vintage 1950's Coca Cola In Bottles Round Advertising Sign Thermometer 495aLarge Vintage 1940's Drink Coca Cola Ice Cold Soda Pop 33" Embossed Metal SignVintage Original 1950's Coca Cola Soda Porcelain Metal Not Tin SignVintage Coca-cola Thermometer Sign Of Good Taste Refresh Yourself Cigar Shape Coca Cola 1950's Button Sign 24" Nice Condition Vintage 1950's Coca Cola Fishtail ClockVintage Coca Cola "take A Case Home Today" 1957 Sign Excellent Condition!Rusty Old Coca Cola Coke Large 34" Soda Pop Tin Button Sign * No ReservePorcelain Steel Coca Cola Palm Press Sign Push DoorRussian / Russia Coca-cola Euro 2016 Rare Test Prototype For Aluminium BottleVintage C.1960 Coca Cola Fishtail Soda Pop Bottle Gas Station 28" Metal SignVintage Metal Coca-cola Travel Cooler Great Shape Louisville KyVintage Metal Coca-cola Travel Cooler Very Nice Made In KansasDisney Epcot Center Coca-cola Coke Germany Pretzel Stand Cart Odv SignOld French Canadian Prenez Un Coca-cola Porcelain Advertising Door Push SignNice Coke Button Sign Sprite Boy And Bottle Clean 12 InchVintage 1960's Fanta Coca Cola Soda Pop Gas Station 15" Metal Sign~niceOriginal 1941 Twin Bottle Coca Cola Coke ThermometerVintage Tin Coca Cola SignDanbury Mint 1938 Coca Cola Delivery Truck 1:24 Diecast In BoxChevrolet: Other Pickups 1939 Chevrolet Pickup Streetrod Coca ColaVintage Coca-cola "thirst Knows No Seasons" Thermometer SignVintage C.1960 Coca Cola Menu Board Soda Pop Restaurant 28" Embossed Metal Sign1960s Coca Cola Clown Popcorn & Cup 3d Vacuum Sign Tgbwc Mint Unused1960s Coca Cola Bottle Thermometer 17 Inches Beautiuful Working Condition1976 Coke Bears Discs With Tabs Walter Payton Psa 10 Gem MintVintage Coca Cola LighterVintage Beautiful Original 1934 Coca Cola Tray 100% Real GuaranteedOriginal Easel Back 1943-44 Coke Coca Cola 5th Of 5 Service Girl White 17" TallOriginal Easel Back 1943-44 Coke Coca Cola 4th Of 5 Service Girl 2 Tone 17" TallVintage Old Collectible Rare Coca Cola Ice Cold Ad Porcelain Enamel Sign BoardTen Replacement Coca Cola Cases For Lincoln Toys Coke Truck - CanadaZippo 1968 Coca-cola Bottle Coke Bottle....amber Signed 1911Ho 1/87 Scale Coca Cola Tractor TrailerVintage 1940's Koppers Chicago Coke Coal Gas Oil 18" Metal Sign1941 Vintage Porcelain Coca Cola Coke SignIce Cold Coca-cola Tin Advertising Sign Vintage Rare 54"x18" Old Antique CokeVintage Beautiful Original 1926 Coca Cola Tray The American Art Work Inc. Dads Rootbeer Thermometer Advertisement-vintage Antique,not Coca Cola, CokeCoca Cola Wood Dart Cabinet Set - Engraved Logo Solid Wood 22" X 25"1930's Coca Cola Coke 27" X 19" Soda Pop Embossed Tin Sign * No Reserve1992 Coca-cola Zippo Lighter Used But Looks Good & Works Great