COCA COLA is world famous, but how did it start ?

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This is an extract of the article, with small photos. You will find the complete article with full-sized photos in my e-book View America: South Atlantic - Part 2

In the travel series View America, South Atlantic - Part 2 covers Georgia, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is not a traditional travelogue, but a non-commercial and more or less objective chronicle of an in-depth exploration of these states. Each state is described with its own brief historical background and its main sights, tourist attractions and points of interest.

My book does not describe lodgings, restaurants or entertainment, except where these may interact with the narrative. It is illustrated with more than 100 full-sized photos.

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Coca Cola

In 1886, John Styth Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, came up with a particular syrup, in addition to his other concoctions against hair loss, headaches and whatever. He sold his articles to other pharmacists as medicinal products. The syrup consisted of cane sugar, caffeine and extracts of coca leaves (cocaine) and Kola beans. The drink was diluted with water, and cooled with ice cubes.

His bookkeeper Frank Robinson suggested the name Coca Cola, and since he was an excellent pen illustrator, he signed the name with the elegant pen curls we still admire today. Pemberton's health was precarious however, and the next year he sold his secret formula to several pharmacists and died a few months later.

After 1888, sales of the drink were increasing, and it was also sold in various Soda Fountains, where people could take a refreshing drink. Legend has it that the mix of the syrup with soda, instead of plain water, was actually made accidentally by a negligent employee. Anyway, the result was a bull's eye, and the new Coca-Cola was born ! But also read why Coca Cola actually was invented ?

In 1989 Asa Candler, an Atlanta drugstore distributor, gradually bought all of the shares, and by 1891 he owned the entire company, for roughly $ 2,300 ! In 1892 he founded the Coca Cola Company, and the next year he patented the name, but not the product.

In 1915, the success of the beverage had become so great that imitators emerged from everywhere, to rake in a crumb from his rich table. An absolute master stroke was the development in 1916 of a special patented bottle, the Coca-Cola bottle. It almost instantly checked all imitators ! The bottle's model was derived from the curvature of a Kola bean. In 1916, Asa Candler retired from the business, and he left it to his children. Later he became mayor of Atlanta.

Coca Cola, Atlanta, GA 1

Coca Cola : coke bottles 2

Video : the history of Coca Cola


The rise of Coca Cola

In 1919, Asa Candler's children sold the company to Ernest Woodruff of Columbus, Georgia for $ 25 million, and in 1923 his son Robert became the president. He further expanded the business, so that by 1923 they sold six million bottles per day!

In 1945, the company patented the popular name Coke, and by 1950, they sold fifty million bottles per day! In 1982, the company introduced Diet Coke, which soon became the best-selling beverage in the world. However, archrival Pepsi Cola came up tremendously, and in 1984 the market was almost equally divided between them.

Coca Cola, Atlanta, GA 3

Coca Cola, Atlanta, GA 4


The company devotes a significant proportion of its revenue on marketing and publicity, and it was the first company to sponsor the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, a tradition that they follow to this day.

The Coca-Cola Store in Atlanta, GA, features an incredible collection of all sorts of objects that have ever been conceived and used to further the brand. Fortunately, next to the more traditional "trinkets", it also contains several beautiful and remarkable creations!

At present, Coca Cola is sold in more than 170 countries, and every day more than 600 million Cola's go over the counter...

Coca Cola, Atlanta, GA 5

Video : Watch the wonderful Coca Cola Christmas video !


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