This year marks the 94th anniversary of the Coca-Cola contour bottle, an iconic package design recognized worldwide and one of the few packages granted trademark status by the U.S. Patent Office. The bottle had a modest beginning in 1894, when a store owner began bottling the popular new fountain soda called Coca-Cola in a cork-capped Hutchinson glass bottle. It wasn’t until 1915 that a contour-shaped bottle designed by The Root Glass Company was approved. According to popular belief, the rounded shape of the bottle was inspired by the cocoa pod. In fact, the first prototype’s middle was larger than the base, making it unstable on conveyor belts. It wasn’t until the bottle was put on a diet that the distinctive curvy shape we are familiar with today emerged.
If all this talk of history is making you nostalgic, here is Coke’s first ever TV commercial and below is a timeline of some of the innovations this collectors’ darling has seen over the years.
1899 – Exclusive U.S. bottling rights bough from soda maker…for one dollar
1919 – First European bottling plant opens in Paris, France. Total number of bottles reaches 1,000
1928 – Volume of coke sold in bottles exceeds fountain sales for first time
1930 – First official cooler found at service stations
1935 – Company employs salespeople to go door-to-door offering to install bottle openers on walls
1955 – New bottles in 10, 12 and 26 ounce sizes introduced
1964 – First lift top cans launch
1982 – Diet Coke introduced
2005 – Coca-Cola Zero rolls out
2006 – Coke BlaK launches