History for the Rest of Us

History of Coca-Cola

History of Coca-Cola

May 8, 2012

On May 8, 1886 John Styth Pemberton, a Pharmacist from Georgia first sold a patent medicine he called ‘Coca-Cola’. Pemberton had been wounded in the Civil War in the Battle of Columbus and like many others became addicted to morphine. In his search for a cure, he experimented with coca and coca wines. His original solution contained kola nut and damiana and was called Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. In 1886, based on new legislation, it was necessary for Pemberton to remove the alcohol from his formula. He worked with Willis Venable, an Atlanta druggist to refine the recipe. The formula evolved to include mixing the base syrup with carbonated water. Pemberton decided to sell it as a fountain drink as opposed to a medicine, though he continued to promote health claims that the beverage would cure headaches, relieve exhaustion and calm nerves.

John Pemberton Coca-Cola Inventor

John Pemberton Coca-Cola Inventor

Frank Mason Robinson a secretary and bookkeeper for the Pemberton Chemical Company, came up with the name Coca-Cola, and also penned the Spencerian Script logo that has since become one of the most recognizable in the world.

Below are the slogans used by Coca-Cola over the last fifty years:

1963 – Things go better with Coke.
1966 – Coke … after Coke … after Coke.
1969 – It’s the real thing.
1971 – I’d like to buy the world a Coke.
1974 – Look for the real things.
1976 – Coke adds life.
1979 – Have a Coke and a smile
1982 – Coke is it!
1985 – America’s Real Choice
1986 – Red White & You (Coca-Cola Classic)
1986 – Catch the Wave (New Coke)
1989 – Can’t Beat the Feeling.
1991 – Can’t Beat the Real Thing. (Coca-Cola Classic)
1993 – Always Coca-Cola.
2000 – Enjoy.
2001 – Life tastes good.
2003 – Real.
2005 – Make It Real.
2006 – The Coke Side of Life
2007 – Live on the Coke Side of Life
2008 – love it light
2009 – Open Happiness
2010 – Twist The Cap To Refreshment
2011 – Life Begins Here

Find Coca-Cola merchandise: The Coca-Cola Store

Coke Tin Sign

Purchase this Coke Tin Sign or other Coke merchandise in the Coke Store