Archive for August, 2010

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August 31, 2010

What’s up with all those numbers?

Well this week marks the one year anniversary of my blog, I’ve had over 10,185 visitors and over 233 comments posted. If you have posted a question, comment or just visited the blog I want to say Thank You, it has turned out more popular than I could have ever imagined.

 I also wanted to thank all of you for the interest in my book.

 My book has made it out to 8 Countries and 32 States and is currently available at the Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia Gift Shop in Elizabethtown, KY as well as online here.

 Articles or Websites that mention my book are in:

  • Coca-Cola Company’s Archivist and Historian Phil Mooney’s Blog ‘Coca-Cola Conversations’
  • Coca-Cola Collectors Club of Queensland, Australia Chapter Newsletter
  • Coca-Cola Collectors Club of South Australia Newsletter
  • Coca-Cola Collectors Club of the Netherlands Newsletter
  • Coca-Cola Collectors Club U.S. Newsletter
  • Cola Conquest Magazine
  • Collectors Weekly
  • Society for Historical Archaeology listed my book under REFERENCE BOOKS as an excellent source to identify Coca-Cola bottles and said ‘This is an excellent and succinct guide to Coke bottles with scores of full color illustrations of bottles….’
  • Interviewed by a Stanford University student for a Research Project on history and philosophy of design (as pertaining to Coca-Cola contour bottle)

 I will never see my book become a New York Times Best Seller and it won’t make the Oprah Book Club List, but I am happy with where the book has gone and where I am going with all of this.

 Even though the local media is not interested in doing an article/interview about my book, it seems people from across the U.S. and around the globe are at least interested. It has allowed me to communicate with some wonderful people from all over the world and has been an amazing experience!

 Thank you to all!

Your Independent Coca-Cola Bottler Part 3

August 30, 2010

By the early 1950’s The Coca-Cola Company realized they needed to do something in order to stay competitive. So in the mid 1950’s they introduced Coca-Cola in the King Size (10 ounce and 12 ounce) bottle and the Family Size (26 ounce) bottle. They also began to think of entering the flavor market.

 Most bottlers felt those changes were still not aggressive nor competitive enough. This led some bottlers to create unique products for themselves during the 1950’s. The Houston Coca-Cola Bottling Company developed its own flavored line of beverages in 1955. They offered various fruit flavors, ginger ale and root beer all of which were bottled under the name Sprite and available in a clear glass bottle with a white striped ACL design. The Sprite flavor line was also available from the El Campo, Texas Coca-Cola Bottler.

 James T. Murray of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, Inc. created Veep, a lemon lime drink and the Sparkling line of beverages which included orange, ginger ale and club soda flavors in 1958. Both beverage lines were test marketed in 1959, and by spring of 1960 they were sold within the three state territory of the New York bottler, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Your Independent Coca-Cola Bottler Part 2

August 23, 2010

The bottlers wanted to stay competitive with the other local bottlers and offer a choice of sodas to its consumers, not just a cola flavored drink available in only one size bottle. The Coca-Cola Company felt that the one-drink-one-size policy got them where they were and that there was no reason to expand by offering other flavors or larger size bottles. This led many bottlers to taking matters into their own hands and offering a wide variety of flavored drinks. The bottler would often create their own brand or product and distribute a flavored line of drinks. Some bottlers bought the flavored syrup from other nationally known brands then were bottled by Coca-Cola bottlers as well as non Coca-Cola Bottlers, such as Bubble Up, Nu-Grape, Jic Jac,    O-So-Beverages, Sun Rise among others.

The early bottles were embossed and in later years were offered in an ACL style bottle. Since there were thousands of independent bottlers, the brands that were available are also in the thousands.  Some widely available brands were Big Chief, which could be found in the Eastern U.S. as well as out West. Royal Palm is one that could be found in the North as well as in the Southern U.S.

 Crass was a brand that was available in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. The Crass family owned 42 Coca-Cola Bottling franchises and offered a flavor line with a large variety of flavors such as Ginger Ale, Root Beer, Grape, Lemon Lime, Aces Up, among other flavors.

 Other bottlers named their flavor line using a regional name, famous location or used a funny name to help the brand stand out. Some of these brands were Northern Neck, U Ly Kit (You Like It), Mondak, Sea Way, Lo-Fi, Tidewater, Peppo, Blossom Land, Down East, etc. There are thousands of brands that the Coca-Cola Bottler developed to sell in their territory.

Coca-Cola Collecting in Australia

August 19, 2010

While doing a little web surfing this morning I came across this article from last year. It discusses collecting Coca-Cola in Australia. An interesting article:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/money/planning/theres-bucks-in-the-fizz/2009/03/23/1237656847050.html

Your Independent Coca-Cola Bottler Part 1

August 16, 2010

            In the early years The Coca-Cola Company was content with manufacturing syrup concentrate for soda fountain sales and had no interest in bottling Coca-Cola for retail sale.

           The bottling rights were sold to Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who developed the bottling franchise system. A Coca-Cola bottler would be set up under a franchise agreement and was usually owned by a family or group of investors. The franchise included the right to purchase the syrup concentrate from The Coca-Cola Company at a set price, bottle and sell Coca-Cola within a specified service territory and The Coca-Cola Company would handle national advertising campaigns. This created thousands of small but profitable local and regional Coca-Cola bottlers that were independent of each other and independent of The Coca-Cola Company.

When Is the Next BIG Bottle Adventure?

August 12, 2010

I had a friend ask me that yesterday. I had to stop and think on that one. No bottle shows coming up that are local, no Coca-Cola Club Events for a month or two, still too hot for any bottle digging, what am I going to do??

   Well, I have a few places I can check out whenever I get bottle fever. Like this weekend, a Car Show will be at the fairgrounds not too far from my house. Bottles at a Car Show? Yes……sometimes.  At this car show, they also have a large car parts area (Swap Meet) where people will bring in bits and pieces of cars to sell.  Many of these parts are found in barns, old garages, etc. Those places are also a great place for soda memorabilia such as signs, bottles, crates, drink machines, coolers, etc.  I have found some great signs and bottles at larger car events. Many car enthusiasts look for signs for the garage; they look for old bottles and coolers to place in the vehicle for display purposes, so these items do appear occasionally at car show swap meets.

   Plus, looking at the cars and even at the parts fascinates me. I used to spend many weekends pulling old car parts for some extra cash in my younger days.

 So, if you get a chance check out local car shows that will have a swap meet area too. You will be surprised at what you might find!

Let’s Talk Soft Drinks

August 10, 2010

The past few weeks I’ve been down with a summer cold.  The upside of being sick, I’ve been able to peruse the internet and find some interesting things. One thing I found was a book called ‘Let’s Talk Soft Drinks’. Printed in 1960 and written by Ben Ginsburg; 139 pages.

I found several titles for the ‘Let’s Talk’ series, such as ‘Let’s Talk Beer’, ‘Let’s Talk Oil Industry’, ‘Let’s Talk Power Industry’, etc.  I hadn’t been able to find out who this series of books were geared towards.

Although a fairly short book, it covers a great deal of material. Information on Asa Candler (Coca-Cola), C.D. Bradham (Pepsi-Cola), C. L. Grigg (7 Up), Charles Hatcher (Royal Crown), R.S. Lazenby (Dr Pepper), Charles Hires (Root Beer), Henry Millis (Cliquot Club), and many others.

Other chapters cover the Study of Efficiency, Early Beginnings, Industry Today, Franchise System, Technical Aspects, Competition, Marketing, Management, etc.

Even though the some of the information is dated it is a great look at the Soft Drink Industry in 1960.

I think this book will be a little hard to find on the internet. I just happened across it by accident. It is worth tracking down though.

Good Luck in your search!