Today the Coca-Cola bottle is one of the most recognizable containers in the world, but a century ago nearly all soda bottles looked the same.
To distinguish its product from competitors, the Coca-Cola Company launched a competition in 1915 among glassmakers to design a new bottle that was unique in both look and feel.
The winning design, patented by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, had a fluted contour shape that was modeled after the cacao pod, the main ingredient in chocolate. However the original prototype was never manufactured because it was top-heavy and unstable.
The first commercial “Coke” bottles debuted with a wider base and slimmed-down, contoured shape. This silhouette became so unmistakable that in 1961 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gave it trademark status.
See the original patent in person at the National Archives in Washington, DC, from June 4 through July 29, 2015, in the West Rotunda Gallery; and from October 29 through December 2, 2015, in the East Rotunda Gallery.
Images: Original Coke Bottle Patent, November 16, 1915. (Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, National Archives)
Men of the 133rd Field Artillery Battalion enjoy Cokes on the front, March 17, 1944. (Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, National Archives)
Military Police officers toast with their Coca-Colas at a “Retreat Club,” July 21, 1945. (Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, National Archives)
It’s officially been three years since Alice was adopted. We went to The World of Coke to celebrate and she invited her friend, London. In true best friend fashion he surprised Alice with The Breakfast Club themed shoes and a canvas that he drew himself. The shoes feature illustrated quotes from Alice’s favorite character, John Bender;
“Screws fall out all the time. The world’s an imperfect place.”
“Will milk be made available to us?”
Afterward we went to The Varsity followed by a special presentation of The Breakfast Club on the couch. It’s Alice’s favorite day of the year and so far it’s been a good one.