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.
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Weekend calendarArkansas 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 sayWCVB 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 trucksLand 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 HighlightsNew 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
A Local Gem: Diane Katzman DesignLadue News, November 25th
During the past 16 years, Diane Katzman Design's custom jewelry and accessories have appeared on the runways of Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein, graced the pages of Elle and InStyle, and shined on the shelves of Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus...Read more
Historical society to host holiday home tourLa 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 WhyMotley 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 businessChattanooga 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