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]



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Recent News: Coca Cola

Source: Google News

Old South Texas bottling plant may get new look
Beaumont Enterprise, July 23rd

No one knows what happened to the famed, 8-foot-tall neon Coca-Cola sign posted out front or a number of other memorabilia that once dotted the facade. Still, Adickes and other like-minded community members are convinced the place just needs a little ...Read more

Cuero Coca-Cola bottling plant to be renovated
Victoria Advocate, July 22nd

CUERO - When he was 6 years old, Wayne Adickes pressed his nose against the glass window looking into the Cuero Coca-Cola bottling plant. Now 73, Adickes remembers how the bottles clinked together on the assembly line and were washed and refilled ...Read more

REUTERS AMERICA NEWS PLAN FOR MONDAY, JULY 21
Reuters, July 21st

Coca-Cola profits could fall short for bottlers. -- Coca-Cola may have annual profits of about $9.3 billion, but that could fall short of what the world's largest soda maker needs to tempt would-be bottling franchisees. That is the puzzle for the...Read more

Scholarships, fundraisers, sports and a coach's farewell
The Warren Reporter, July 21st

He was 60-years-old. Tomlinson is remembered by many as a good humored man who always was smiling and helpful. Ever since I started writing this column about Warren County sports in 1998, I've always seen him at Hackettstown sports events, all sports...Read more

Antique tennis racquets, toys, pumpkins and Coca Cola products - this Delco ...
Delco News Network, July 19th

Robbins, owner of Mitchel Robbins Jewelers in Broomall, has collections of pumpkins, antique Coca Cola trays and bottles, antique Coca Cola coolers (including a 1947 Coke machine), pinball machines, antique tennis racquets, snow globes and antique ...Read more

Coca Cola Convention Brings Hundreds to Springfield
WICS-TV, July 18th

Coca Cola Convention Brings Hundreds to Springfield. Hundreds of people came to the Crowne Plaza in Springfield this week to buy and sell coca-cola memorabilia. ABC Newchannel's Photojournalist Paul Elders shows us what it's all about. Coca Cola ...Read more

McLeod Attorney Issues Statement
HottyToddy.com, July 17th

McLeod, who some called the ultimate Elvis superfan, turned his 161-year-old home into an eclectic shrine stuffed floor-to-ceiling with Elvis memorabilia in 1990. He was known to stay up 24 hours a day, fueled by caffeine from an unending supply of...Read more

A Coke (or lots of Cokes) and a smile: Linda Prabish's Coca-Cola collection ...
Chattanooga Times Free Press, July 4th

Linda Prabish started collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia in the late 1970s just because she liked the color red. ... Spanning the walls and filling cabinet shelves, metal Coke serving trays are decorated in portraits of Santas or females wearing vintage...Read more