December 17, 2013

A Prized Bottle - From Egypt

1949 Coca-Cola Contour Bottle from Egypt

A Coca-Cola retiree who worked in many places, including Egypt, brought a very unique bottle to us last week. It is a 1949 contour bottle with the Coca-Cola trademark embossed in the glass in English on one side and Arabic on the other. He found the bottle many years ago and held onto it until now. He described how rare this bottle is - created by local Egyptian glass makers and filled in Egypt. As I did a little further research, I found the following snippet from the December, 1949 issue of Coca-Cola Overseas:

"During these first three years of Cairo's [Coca-Cola Bottling] operation, many unusual adverse circumstances had to be overcome. The greatest handicap all during this period was the shortage of machines and especially of bottles. Nowhere have bottles endured such a fast turnover as in Cairo. It happened quite often that the same bottle came back to the plant twice a day and was refilled during the night for its first trip next day."

Given this context, it is pretty cool to hold this bottle in my hand! I'm sure some of you Coca-Cola collectors out there have a bottle like this in your collection - please share your comments!
October 24, 2013

World Polio Awareness Day - A Personal Story

Polio Vaccine Distribution

Delivering Polio Vaccine in Argentina, 1964

October 24th is World Polio Awareness day.  Last year, I wrote a blog post for The Company's official blog, Unbottled, highlighting how polio had impacted my family and giving details on the efforts of The Coca-Cola Company to distribute the polio vaccine in Latin America.  On Polio Awareness Day, I wanted to re-share that blog. ^TR

July 16, 2013

Active Healthy Living Through the Years

Coca-Cola Active Healthy Living Exhibit 1

“Active, Healthy Living" has always been supported by The Coca-Cola Company. To showcase this fact, we just opened a temporary exhibit at The World of Coca-Cola entitled, "Active Healthy Living Through the Years". The case highlights a lot of fun artifacts that display some of the Company’s sponsorships of physical fitness programs through the years and its commitment to offering an array of packaging sizes over time, like the first Coca-Cola mini-cans from the 1970s all the way up to today. The earliest item on display is 1938’s “Steps to Health” board game from Canada, which you can see pictured here. Do any of you collectors out there have this game in their collection? We actually have two different versions of the game in our Archives. The exhibit will be up until mid-November.

July 11, 2013

Coke Archives Placelist

Spotify Can

Spotify Cans

Last year, The Coca-Cola Company announced a global partnership with Spotify, a digital music service that provides on demand streaming of millions of songs.  As part of the partnership, Coca-Cola developed Placelist a new social music app hosted on Spotify’s free streaming music platform.  The app lets fans see where friends are checked in on Facebook, listen to other Placelists and zoom in on locations around the world – from a neighborhood café or park, to Copacabana beach in Rio, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Users can add tracks to an existing Placelist, vote songs up the queue or create a new Placelist for a specific location.  


This is all cool, but what does it have to do with the Coca-Cola Archives?  Well, we are huge music fans and created a Coke Archives Placelist.  Every musical act that appears on the Placelist also appeared in a Coca-Cola Company ad.  I had a fun afternoon creating a list of musical acts including Lillian Nordica, Glen Miller, The Limeliters, The Who, Elton John, RUN-DMC, Selena and even a comedy routine by Bill Cosby.  You can virtually visit the music vault in our Archives and listen to some of the musical greats who have appeared in Coca-Cola Company ads over the years. 

We only started the list with forty musical acts, and now we are inviting you to add more.  Just think of an artist who appeared in an ad, search for a song of theirs on Spotify and click the add button to add it to our Placelist.

For the can collectors out there, keep your eyes open for the Spotify slim can that was introduced in England last week.  They look pretty cool.  I am trying to get some for the Archives collection. ^TR

May 20, 2013

Malaysia Coca-Cola Collectors Fair


On May 12th, Coca-Cola Malaysia sponsored the third Coca-Cola Collectors Fair in Berjaya Times Square Mall in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle.  Over 40 collectors participated setting up displays with highlights from their collections.  Last month, I was fortunate to be able to attend an event in Singapore and I experienced the passion the collectors have for their hobby.  The Malaysia event looks like it was even more exciting. The Archives provided the centennial bottle that was given to the best display as well as a few other items.  I hope that I will be able to attend the fourth collectors fair.  This video give a good overview of the event and the great collections on display. ^TR

May 08, 2013

Happy Birthday Coca-Cola!

Happy BDay

On May 8th, 1886, the Coca-Cola was first served at Jacobs' Pharmacy at 2 Marietta Street in Atlanta, Georgia.  127 years later I wanted to take a moment to echo the text in the ad, "The party's on - Have a Coke!" Here's to the next 127 years! ^TR

March 26, 2013

And The Award Goes To!

Ghent Design Museum

Ghent Design Museum display under construction.

In November 2011, I was invited to attend the opening of an exhibit at the Ghent Design Museum in Belgium.  The Archives had jointly curated the exhibit on 125 Years of Coca-Cola Design with a team from Coca-Cola Belgium.  I wrote a blog about the exhibit, and at the time marveled at the innovative way the Coca-Cola Script had been painted on the wall as a design feature.  If you stood in one location, the script looked normal.  As one walked around the room and perspective changed, the logo lost its form.  I was pleased to learn today that that the team responsible for the display, Ruud Belmann and the design group, Pinkeye, received an award for design details.  You can check out additional photos and the nomination form here.  Congrats Pinkeye! ^TR

February 07, 2013

Coca-Cola Roots and Global Memories

Marilyn Pryce Hoytt, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing for
Marilyn Pryce Hoytt 1960, Spelman College
Marilyn Pryce Hoytt 1960
this soda fountain story, has Coca-Cola roots that go way back, and all around the world. In our conversation, she shared the following Coca-Cola story with me:

"In the early 1960s, when I first went to Paris as a Merrill Scholar from Spelman College, a Blimpie's Restaurant opened. We Americans flocked there to have a Coke and a rather small hamburger. In the late '60s, at various embassy parties when I lived in Ethiopia, Coke was available. In the 1980s when I became

an instructor of French, I learned that the word "coca" had become a generic term due to the popularity of Coca-Cola. Today, it is rewarding to know that Coca-Cola, and especially my favorite, Coke Zero, is served around the world. When you are abroad and have a Coke, you're back home!

Soda fountains were a part of growing up in and on the campus of Tuskegee Institute . In the 1950s, as teenagers, we frequented Burroughs’ Drugstore (in the Chambliss Building--see photo below), Carter’s Store (on “The Block”) and the newest, most modern soda fountain was Allen’s Store. There we could sip a Coke and have a hot dog just like folks we saw on television.

Members of my family have a long history with soda fountains and Coca-Cola. Pryce’s Pharmacies have been in operation in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California, since 1908. Although the Los Angeles pharmacies are now closed, one was operated by my grandfather, Dr. George S. Pryce, and the other by his son, Dr. George C. Pryce. My father, Edward L. Pryce, grew up working in the drugstore. At the tender age of 9, he stood on a crate to ring up Coca-Cola at the cash register.

The original pharmacy is still in existence in Lake Charles, and is owned and operated by my cousin, Dr. Frank Y. Pryce."

Chambliss Building, Tuskegee Institute
Please be sure to click over to read the great history of her family’s Pryce’s Pharmacy soda fountains, which opened in 1908 and served Coca-Cola to its customers in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California.
November 08, 2012

Joe and the Greatest Generation

Sunday is Veterans Day in the United States and I wanted to share two stories, one about Coca-Cola and one about a veteran who is very special to me. Readers of our blog will know how The Coca-Cola Company responded to a request from General Eisenhower to set up bottling plants to provide Coca-Cola to the Allied Troops in North Africa. Our Chairman, Robert Woodruff took that request and then committed that every soldier should be able to get a Coke for a nickel regardless of where they were stationed. The Company went to extraordinary effort to construct 64 bottling plants around the world to keep that pledge. One of the sailors who served during WWII was my father-in-law, Joseph T. Brogan.  Joe Brogan joined the Coast Guard after graduating from Roman Catholic High in Philadelphia in 1942.  As an 18 year old inductee, he was assigned to serve on the USS Charlotte (PF-60.)  Even though the Charlotte was a Naval ship, it was crewed by the Coast Guard. Joe was with the Charlotte as she did her shakedown and inaugural voyage beginning in January of 1943. The Charlotte was stationed in the North Atlantic and did duty as a Patrol Frigate in those frigid waters.  She also did weather station duty gathering meteorological data to track the eastward flowing storms. Last weekend, I took my sons to visit Joe and asked him to share some of the stories on board the ship.  He has a beautiful book that is filled with photographs that he showed the kids. While he was telling his stories, I asked if they had Coca-Cola on board.  “You bet we did,” was the answer.  He even joked that while the ship was stationed in the North Atlantic there was plenty of ice! As a member of what Tom Brokaw called the “Greatest Generation,” Joe served his country for four years on board the Charlotte and formed bonds that have lasted a lifetime.  He has attended several of the crew reunions and still keeps in touch with some of his old friends.  After the war, Joe returned to Philadelphia to resume his interrupted college education at Villanova University where he graduated in 1950.  The Coast Guard motto is Semper Paratus! Always Prepared! And this Veterans Day, I want to thank a veteran who has always been prepared to serve his country and share time with his family. Thanks Joe! ^TR                    
October 24, 2012

A Helping Hand

October 24th is World Polio Day, focusing attention on continuing efforts to totally eradicate the disease.  I have two polio stories I wanted to share, one personal and one Coca-Cola. During the summer of 1946, at the tender age of 6, my father contracted polio.  While he never ended up in an iron lung, he was hospitalized and was totally paralyzed for several weeks.  He was amazingly fortunate and the feeling slowly began to return to his limbs.  Over the next six months he had to re-learn how to walk and use his muscles - then he returned to school.  The only long term impact of the illness was that one of his thumbs has a limited range of motion. Nine years after dad contracted polio, Jonas Salk and his team developed the first vaccine, offering a means to eliminate the illness. Coca-Cola and our bottlers in Latin America were very active in efforts to distribute the polio vaccine.  I wanted to focus on one such event in Buenos Aires from 1964.  The Coca-Cola office and our local bottlers were part of a larger group involved in a mass immunization effort.  Due to the perishable nature of the vaccine, over 1 million doses were shipped from Belgium and had to be quickly distributed throughout the province.  The Coca-Cola bottler put his trucking fleet to work to get the vaccines delivered to the various stations and over 16 hours they delivered 1 million doses to 280 stations which were immediately administered. Efforts like this were repeated is several different countries in South America.  Programs like these were part of the reason the disease has been contained as much as it has - and for that we should all be thankful.  I know my dad is.  ^TR