From the Collection

The First Bottle of Coke

A six-pack of glass bottles filled with translucent brown liquid, in a red cardboard holder with a metal handle, photographed against a white background.

In 1886, when Coca-Cola first broke onto the soda market, it was only available to be purchased as a fountain drink.

That changed in 1894 when a Mississippi candy shop owner, Joseph A. Biedenharn, bottled the drink in his store using a common glass bottle, with the first being sold March 12 that year.  In 1924, the six-pack bottle carrier was developed and by the end of the decade bottle sales of Coca-Cola exceeded fountain sales.

This sealed pack of Coca-Cola (994.5.22) dates to 1935 and each bottle has a cap commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Wilson’s Dry Ginger Ale, which was established in 1875.

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