Coca-Cola logo
Coca-Cola logo 1885
by Frank Mason Robinson
Names: "Coca-Cola", "Coke"

Category: Drink

Subcategory: Soft drinks

Inventor: John Stith Pemberton

Producer: The Coca-Cola Company
(founded by Asa Griggs Candler in 1892)

John Stith Pemberton
John Stith Pemberton
Knoxville, Jul. 8, 1831 –
L.A., Aug. 16, 1888,
pharmacist and
inventor of Coca-Cola
Production start: May 8, 1886Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Contour bottle patented: November 16, 1915

First price: It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains.

Recipe: Carbonated water, sugar (sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup depending on country of origin), caffeine, phosphoric acid, caramel color (E150d), natural flavorings. A can of Coke (12 fl ounces/355 ml) has 39 grams of carbohydrates (all from sugar, approximately 10 teaspoons), 50 mg of sodium, 0 grams fat, 0 grams potassium, and 140 calories.

Interesting facts: The name "Coca-Cola" was a suggestion by John Pemberton's bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson. Frank Robinson also had great penmanship: in 1885 he created by hand the unique flowing script that became the iconic Coca-Cola logo. The exact formula of Coca-Cola's natural flavorings (but not its other ingredients, which are listed on the bottle or can) is a trade secret.

Slogan (1886): «Coca-Cola. Délicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!»

Property: The Coca-Cola Company

Producer website:

Coca-Cola bottle 1889
Coca Cola, the first bottle (1899) was produced in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Model "Hutchinson" with metal cap.

Coca-Cola bottle 1900
Coca-Cola, the first labeled bottles (1900)

Coca-Cola bottle 1906
Coca-Cola, the amber glass labeled bottles (1906)

Coke Bottle prototype
Coca-Cola, contour bottle prototype (1915) never made it to production: its middle diameter was larger than its base, making it unstable on conveyor belts.

Coca-Cola contour bottle patent
Coca-Cola, image from the patent granted to Alexander Samuelson for "a bottle or similar" (Nov. 16, 1915, filed Aug. 18, 1915)

Coca-Cola classic contour bottle 1916
Coca-Cola, classic contour bottle (1916)

Coca-Cola six-pack 1923
Coca-Cola, the six-bottles pack (1923) was introduced to encourage consumers to buy the product to take home.

Coca-Cola contour bottle evolution
Coca-Cola, evolution of the bottle. Alexander Samuelson of the Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Indiana, designed the distinctive shape, and it was patented on November 16, 1915. The bottle was modified and slimmed down to work with the current bottling equipment and went into broader production in 1916. This contour bottle was the only packaging used by The Coca-Cola Company for 40 years until the king-size package was introduced in 1955.

Coca-Cola cone style can
Coca-Cola "cone" style can (1936). The oldest cans of Coca-Cola were all test market samples and never sold to the public.

Coca-Cola can
Coca-Cola can (1955). Never sold to the public, only sent to the military in the Far East.

Coca-Cola newspaper ad
The first Coca-Cola newspaper advertisement (May 29, 1886) from the Atlanta Journal

Coca-Cola coupon
Coca-Cola coupon (1887). Believed to be the first coupon ever, this ticket for a free glass of Coca-Cola was first distributed to help promote the drink.

Coca-Cola advertisement
Coca-Cola advertising (1890) showing model Hilda Clark in formal 19th century attire

Coca-Cola 2013
Coca-Cola celebrates 125th Anniversary with a spectacular building illumination (2011); at the bottom, some formats in their advanced versions (2013).