Monday, January 16, 2012

Coca-Cola: A short history

John Pemberton originally formulated the prototype Coca-Cola recipe at the Eagle Drug and Chemical Company in Columbus Georgia and originally called it Pemberton’s French Wine Coca.

When prohibition legislation was passed in 1886 for Fulton County and Atlanta, Pemberton developed Coca-Cola, a non-alcoholic version of Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. Sold at first as a patented medicine, it was claimed Coca-Cola could cure all sorts of diseases. It cost 5 cents.

Initially, Coca-Cola contained cocaine and caffeine; cocaine from the cola leaf and caffeine from the kola nut, hence the name, although the k was change to c for marketing purposes. After 1904, the company started using “spent” cola leaves rather than fresh leaves. The only company in the United States authorized to import and process the cola leaf is the Stepan Company, producing the coca flavoring agent for Coca-Cola and extracts cocaine from the coca leaves, which it sells to Mallinckrodt, a company in St. Louis MO which is a pharmaceutical manufacturer; the only company licensed in the United States to purify cocaine for medicinal use.

It has been rumored that Coca-Cola was originally green but this is a rumor only. The original formula called for caramel to be added, creating the brown color of the drink.

Coca-Cola was originally sold at the counters of pharmacies but began bottling the soda in 1894. In 1955, Coca-Cola began appearing in cans.

In April 1985, Coca-Cola changed the formula to the “New Coke”, which created a lot of publicity and fanfare. The consumers, however, wanted the old Coke to return. Within months, the “old Coke” was returned, labeled as Coca-Cola Classic. By 2011, the Coca-Cola Classic label has disappeared as the “New Coke” is no longer in production.

Coca-Cola’s advertising has definitely affected American culture. The company was credited with inventing the modern image of Santa Claus as an old man in a red and white suit but did not start using this image until 1930. White Rock Beverages actually began using this image in 1923 for ginger ale. Coca-Cola used smartly dressed young ladies before Santa Claus. The first advertisement in 1895 featured the young Bostonian acrtress Hilda Clark as its spokeswoman.

In 1941, Coca-Cola saw the first use of the nickname “Coke” as an official trademark for the product.

Over the years, there have been and still is a wide variety of advertisements by the Coca-Cola Company, one of the most well known labels on the market. From tin cans to trucks, belt buckles to dishes, postcards to tokens, Coca-Cola has been one of the leaders in marketing strategies.

Here at, we have some of those wonderful Coca-Cola items. Some are new and some are old! Take a peek at the few that I have added to todays post!

How cute! 

This brings back memories!

I'd never seen one of these!

I love these old trays!

And if you are a belt buckle buff, here is one of several from BlueRacer!!
coca-cola belt buckle.1991
This Olive Oyl Coca Cola Kollect a Set Glass from Kornkountrytreasures. We have another Kollect a Set glass, also!

We have SOOOOOOO many more!! So come on over to and look around!
And if this isn't what you are looking for, please feel free to browse through our store, KornKountryTreasures!!
Thank you!


chateycathey said...

Used to drink it all the time then got hooked root beer. Nice blog Amy. Are you bored today or just have time on your hands? LOL You do the greatest blogs.

kornkountrytreasures said...

Nah, SG does the blogs!! She is the writer, although Flea is super at it, too!! I'm just trying to show how smart I am (NOT)!!! LOL! Internet is the greatest thing!!

Supergranny said...

Korny, you are daft!! I love Coca Cola and had a bunch of it. Trouble with the stuff these days is they are mostly reproductions. If I want to collect, I want truly the vintage stuff. My girls took off with all the stuff I had left and sold you I think about 6 decks of cards.

I used to go to downtown Leoti, Ks to Refschneiders drugstore (probably spelt that wrong) and sit in the one booth with all the with it girls (was about 6 of us) and drank pineapple cokes. Delicious. My class had 13 students in it.

The early story of Coke is so interesting. BTW, you ARE very smart and talented...stop being so coy:)

Krautrock said...

Refschneiders drugstore. ... Sounds GERMAN to me. ...