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]

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Coca Cola Fishtail Pam Thermometer1959 Coca-cola Round Wall Thermometer Original 1924 Coca-cola Large Size Advertising Calendar - Coca-cola GirlRolex Gmt-master Ii 'fat Lady' Coke Bezel Ref:16760 Steel 40mm Men's WatchCoca-cola 1948 Round Wall Thermometer Red/green Dial W/gold Bottle Near MintVintage Original Coca Cola Thermometer Not Porcelain No Reserve!!1939 Embossed Coca-cola Pin-up Soda Advertising Thermometer Silhouette Girl NrUnused? Near Mint Old Original 1930s Coca Cola Canadian Door Push Porcelain SignCoca-cola Salesman’s Sample Cooler Closed Front Snap On Piece SignOriginal 1905 Coca-cola Chromolithograph Lillian Nordica Free Coupon Advert SignOriginal1921 Orange Crush Tin Embossed Sign Coke Pepsi Cola Royal Grape GoldenVintage 1950's Metal Coca-cola Button SignRare Rolex Gmt Master Ii Fat Lady Vintage 16760 Spider Dial No Date Coke 1984Coca-cola Bottle Sign Porcelain 18"round Grey Disk In Mint ConditionVintage 1936 Coca Cola Soda Pop Christmas Bottle 35" Embossed Metal SignNear Mint 1940s Wwii Vintage Coca Cola Take A Case Home Old General Store SignFord : Other Convertible 1923 Ford T Bucket Hot Rod Model T With 1950 S Coca Cola Cooler With TrailerAntique Coca Cola Cooler Mint In Original BoxRare 1930s Large Coca Cola Bottle Metal Soda Sign1950s Coca-cola Advertising Bottle Shaped Thermometer + Cork Screw Bottle OpenerHuge 6 Ft Rare Antique 1940s Coca Cola Non Porcelain Soda Pop Bottle Sign VtgVintage Original Coca Cola Flange Sign Not Porcelain No Reserve!!Original 1940 Embossed Metal Coca Cola Advertising Sign Single Sided Nr Soda 1950 Coca-cola Vendo 81 D .mint Original Free Shipping!Rare Case Tested Xx 1920 - 1940 32025 1/2 Flat Yellow Coke Bottle Knife1939 Coca Cola Mirror/thermometer Silhouette Girl StyleVintage 1962 Coca Cola Button Soda Pop Bottle 12" Metal SignVintage Original Coca Cola Litho Advertisment No Reserve!!Case Stag Damascus Coke Bottle Knife 1989 Issue 1 Of 750 From Mint Set Aaa+ NrCoca Cola Rare Button Two Convenient Sizes Bottle Porcelain Sign 16" Mint CokeVintage Original Coca Cola Porcelain Sign No Reserve!!Vintage Toycoca Cola Soda Pop Old 1950 Marx Coke Truck & Bottle Cases Orange Crush Thermometer Sign Coke Pepsi Dr Pepper 7up ClockBlack General Motors 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 3d Hanging Shelf Working HeadlightsCoca-cola Tiffany Gameroom Lamp, 40"Vintage 1932 Coca Cola Soda Pop Christmas Bottle 27" Embossed Metal SignLincoln Toy 1950`s Coca-cola Delivery Truck With 12 Original Cases Of CokeCoca Cola Near Perfect Vintage ThermometerCoke Vintage Origianl 1950 Cigar Thermometer Vintage Original Coca Cola Masonite Sign Not Porcelain No Reserve!!Vintage Zippo 'coca-cola' Advertising Lighter Unfired W/box And Instructions Rare Antique Case Tested Xx 1932 - 1940 Candy Stripe Coke Bottle Folding KnifeCase Xx Large Coke Bottle Knife With Jigged Wooden HandlesVintage Original Coca Cola Sign Not Porcelain No Reserve!!Complete Set With 15 Mini Bottle Coca-cola From Brazil - Aluminium - New1924 "smiling Girl" Coke Tray With Maroon BorderVintage 1930's Coca Cola Soda Pop Porcelain Metal Door Push Plate SignLarge Vintage 1950's Coca Cola Soda Pop Bottle 46" Metal SignOriginal 1947 Coca Cola Cardboard Easel Back Rare Old Vtg 1970s ~ Case Xx C61050 ~ Folding Hunter Coke Bottle Knife ~ Wood & Mint+Pepsi Cola 5 Cents Porcelain Sign Soda Beverage Coke 7up Dr PepperVintage 1930's Coca Cola Soda Pop Porcelain Metal Door Push Plate SignCoca Cola Pam Clock Company Dated 1957 1949 Coca Cola Cigar Advertising Thermometer Original!Very Nice Old Original *** 1939 Vintage Coca Cola Old Metal Serving TrayVintage Old Coca Cola Soda Pop Coke Cafe Diner Glass Creamer Free Usa Ship1950s Coca-cola "cigar" Working Thermometer Sign.."sign Of Good Taste" 30 InchOriginal Vintage Coca Cola Coke Fish Tail Pam Clock In Working Condition Look NrVintage Old Metal Nugrape Soda Bottle Advertising Thermometer Not Coca Cola CokeOriginal1920's Orange Cocoa Crush Tin Embossed Sign Pepsi Coke Soda Drop Deere Rca Vintage Ey-2 45rpm Record Player, Restored 1 Of A Kind Coca Cola

Recent News: Coca Cola

Source: Google News

Crib Sheet for CFOs on Buffett's 50th Annual Letter
Wall Street Journal (blog), March 2nd

Meanwhile, stock repurchases at Coca-Cola , American Express and Wells Fargo raised our percentage ownership of each…If Berkshire's yearend holdings are used as the marker, our portion of the ... Post mortems of acquisitions, in which reality is...Read more

RI train expo offers something for everyone
Quad-Cities Online, March 1st

"There's a lot of stuff I grew up with -- old toys you threw away and wish you hadn't." His adult son Brian picked up a die-cast metal Coca-Cola truck at the show; he wants to collect vintage Coca-Cola memorabilia. "It's part of our American history...Read more

In Warren Buffett's Annual Letter, More Hints, but Still No Confirmation, of a ...
New York Times, February 28th

Last year, Berkshire increased its ownership stake in its four largest investments: American Express, Coca-Cola, IBM and Wells Fargo. And while Berkshire did not strike any megadeals last year, it continued to grow by making 31 smaller so-called bolt...Read more

Antiques & Collectibles: Metal and neon signs generate collector interest
Post-Bulletin, February 27th

In Eric Bradley's book "Picker's Pocket Guide to Signs," you'll find information and the discovery of all sorts of signs. Today, vintage advertising signs are more like vibrant pieces of artwork with unusual slogans and nostalgic character that has...Read more

Powers Diner powering through time
Port Huron Times Herald, February 27th

Liangos plans to keep much of the diner original, with an "all Coca-Cola and cars" theme. (Photo: JEFFREY M. SMITH, TIMES HERALD). Fullscreen ... "I'm excited to be able to see all the old cars cruising down the street this summer. This diner is going...Read more

The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100
Cool Hunting, February 27th

the call and the first iteration of what we know today as the Coca-Cola glass contour bottle was born. Since then, hundreds of billions of bottles have been sold and along the way it would become one of the most recognizable design items around the...Read more

Coke, Winchester and other rare antique posters will be sold at Showtime ...
ArtfixDaily, February 6th

Items from the more than 50 other advanced collections in the auction will include toys, banks, Coca-Cola, soda fountain (including an actual marble soda counter), candy, gum, peanuts, perfume, millinery, breweriana, distillery, petroliana (gas station...Read more

High Museum to feature exhibit on Coca-Cola bottle's 100 anniversary
Atlanta Business Chronicle, February 3rd

A section taking visitors through the design history of the bottle, including rare examples of the bottle and a "mash-up," salon-style presentation of posters by contemporary designers who have re-imagined the bottle for the 21st century. The Pop Art...Read more