John S. Pemberton first produced a drink in 1866 and named it COCA-COLA.
It is a really astonishing fact that the beverage with 1.9 million daily servings was initially made as an alternative to morphine, a pain reliever.
Pemberton was working as a colonel in the confederate during the American Civil War as well as a pharmacist. He sustained a saber injury from the war in April 1865 and was prescribed morphine to relieve his pain.
He realised that gradually we was becoming addictive to morphine and decided to prepare an alternative that would not contain morphine in it. He then experimented with a lot of different pain relievers.
After a lot of trials, he finally came up with an alcoholic wine that he called Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. The drink was mixed up with cocaine extracted from coca leaves and caffeine from kola nut. Pemberton registered this French Wine in 1885. In 1886, Atlanta and Fulton County prohibited that wine,
This led to development of a non-alcoholic version of the wine.
Pemberton relied upon the Atlanta drugstore owner Wills E. Venable to help him perfect the product.
While trying to make the beverage, he accidently mixed the base syrup with carbonated water which eventually gave birth to the drink Coca- Cola.
Frank Mason Robinson, Pemberton’s bookkeeper and partner came up with the name Coca-Cola which is the hybrid of the coca in Cocaine and cola ad in kola nut spelled as ‘cola nut’ at that time. Robinson also hand wrote, using the standard writing script for business correspondence in the U.S. at that time; Spencerian script on the bottles and ads, which are still in use until today.
The Coca-Cola was first sold at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia on the 8th of May, 1886 at 5 cents per glass at soda fountains, which were popular at that time in U.S. due to the belief that the carbonated water was good for the health.
Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola as a brain tonic which could cure many diseases such as morphine addictions, headaches, nerve disorders and impotence. It sold 25 US gallons the first year. By 1888, three versions of Coca- Cola were produced and sold by three separate businesses. Years later Asa Griggs Candler, an Atlanta Pharmacist and businessman stated in the testimony that he had acquired stakes for $2,300 in Pemberton’s company as early as 1887. Candler sold products called ‘yum yum’ and ‘koke’ which he prepared with the same formula while Charley Pemberton, the son of John Pemberton, kept selling cruder syrup under the name of Coca-Cola. After the death of Pemberton, Candler bought the name ‘ Coca-Cola’ for $300.
By 1888, Candler had the full control over the ‘Coca-Cola’ company. In 1889, Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead, two entrepreneurs from Chattanooga, Tennessee suggested bottling and offered to be in charge of the procedure. They were so compelling that Candler agreed to a contract of only one dollar granting
them exclusive rights to bottle and sell the Coca-Cola.
Candler never collected his one dollar.
The first bottling of Coca-Cola was done in Biedenharn Candy Company in Vicksburg, Mississippi
in 1894 with John Biedenharn as proprietor.
In 1899, the first Coca-Cola bottling company was set up in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The contract came with many issues for the Coca-Cola Company.
It stated that each bottle was to be sold at 5 cents without stating a specific period.
As a result, a bottle of Coca-Cola was sold at 5 cents from 1886 to 1959.
The first outdoor wall advertisement of Coca-Cola was painted in Cartersville, Georgia in 1894.
Coca-Cola from 20th Century In 1910, the papers of the old Coca-Cola Company
were burned during a move to New Corporation offices and surprisingly in 1914, Margaret
Dozier, came out to profess that her signature on the Coca-Cola company bill of sale was
Analysis of certain similar transfer documents showed that John Pemberton’s signature was
forged and some accounts show that Charley Pemberton did it.
However, on September 12, 1919, a group of investors purchased the company for $25 million
and proceeded to release five hundred thousand shares to the public with each share costing
In the same year, the company merged with Johnston Coca-Cola Bottling Group Inc. and
in 1986, the Coca-Cola company merged with two of its bottling companies, owned by HTL
corporation and BCI Holding company, to become Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.
The longest running soda fountain that sold Coca-Cola was Fleeman’s pharmacy, established
in 1914 and existed for 81 years until 1995.
On July 12, 1944, the one-billionth gallon of Coca-Cola syrup was produced.
In 1955 the Coca-Cola cans were first introduced.
On April 23, 1985, Coca-Cola tried to change the formula of the syrup by preparing “New
Subsequent taste tests showed that people loved the taste of New coke better than Coke
or Pepsi and the company went on to produce more of it.
Soon after, the public wanted the old Coca-Cola soda back.
The Coca-Cola Company granted the wish of the public and produced the old drink with
a slight variation in the main sweetener; using high fructose corn syrup instead of
This new drink was produced under the name Coca-Cola Classic on July 10, 1985.
Coca Cola in Recent Years On July 5, 2005, it was announced that Coca-Cola
would resume production in Iraq for the first time since the Arab league refused its use
By April 2007, Canada removed the “Classic” from the name, as New Coke was no longer in
production, so there was no need to differentiate between the two kinds of coke.
In 2009, Coca-Cola introduced the 7.5-ounce mini can.
Also in 2009, the “Classic” was removed from the 470 ml bottles of Coca-Cola sold in the
South Eastern United States and in 2011; “Classic” was removed from all Coca-Cola products.
In September 2011, the Coca Cola Company announced price reductions asking retailers to sell
eight packs at $2.99.
That same day, the company announced that the 12.5 ounces would sell at 89 cents and
the 16 ounces would sell at 99 cents.
In 2012, Coca-Cola resumed operations in Myanmar after 60 years of absence due to investment
sanction imposed on the US.
In 2013, the company announced that Coca-Cola Life would be introduced to Argentina and
other parts of the world.
This drink contained stevia and sugar but the production of Coca-Cola Life was discontinued
in Britain in June 2017.
Coca-Cola together with its investors is working to invest $5billion in their operations in
India by 2020.
Presently, The Coca-Cola Company owns several outlets around the world with the headquarters
situated as a 29 story; 403-foot tall building in Atlanta, Georgia called the One Coca-Cola
As of 2017, the company employed 61,800 members of staff with Muhtar Kent as the Chairman
of the Board and James Quincey as the President and Chief Executive Officer.
The net income in 2017 estimated around $1.4 billion with total assets worth $87.8 billion
and estimated net worth around $180 billion.