Birth of Refreshing Idea
The product that has given the world its best-known taste was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, produced the syrup for Coca-Cola®, and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup to produce a drink that was at once "Delicious and Refreshing," a theme that continues to echo today wherever Coca-Cola is enjoyed.
Thinking, "The two Cs would look well in advertising," Dr. Pemberton's partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, suggested the name and penned the now famous trademark "Coca-Cola" in his unique script. The first newspaper ad for Coca-Cola soon appeared in The Atlanta Journal, inviting thirsty citizens to try "the new and popular soda fountain drink." Hand-painted oilcloth signs reading "Coca-Cola" appeared on store awnings, with the suggestion "Drink" added to inform passersby that the new beverage was for soda fountain refreshment. During the first year, sales averaged a modest nine drinks per day. Dr. Pemberton never realized the potential of the beverage he created. He gradually sold portions of his business to various partners and, just prior to his death in 1888, sold his remaining interest in Coca-Cola to Asa G. Candler. An Atlantan with great business acumen, Mr. Candler proceeded to buy additional rights and acquire complete control. The Candler Era
On May 1, 1889,Asa Candler published a full-page advertisement in The Atlanta Journal, proclaiming his wholesale and retail drug business as "sole proprietors of Coca-Cola ...Delicious. Refreshing. Exhilarating. Invigorating." Sole ownership, which Mr. Candler did not actually achieve until 1891, cost a total of $2,300.
By 1892, Mr. Candler's flair for merchandising had boosted sales of Coca-Cola syrup nearly tenfold. He soon liquidated his pharmaceutical business and focused his full attention on the soft drink. With his brother, John S. Candler, John Pemberton's former partner Frank Robinson and two other associates, Mr. Candler formed a Georgia corporation named The Coca-Cola Company. Initial capitalization was $100,000 The trademark "Coca-Cola," used in the marketplace since 1886, was registered in the United States Patent Office on January 31, 1893. (Registration has been renewed periodically.) That same year the first dividend was paid; at$20 per share, it amounted to 20 percent of the book value of a share of stock. The trademark "Coca-Cola," used in the marketplace since 1886, was registered in the United States Patent Office on January 31, 1893. (Registration has been renewed periodically.) That same year the first dividend was paid; at $20 per share, it amounted to 20 percent of the book value of a share of stock. A firm believer in advertising, Mr. Candler expanded on Dr. Pemberton's marketing efforts, distributing thousands of coupons for a complimentary glass of Coca-Cola. He promoted the product incessantly, distributing souvenir fans, calendars, clocks, urns and countless novelties, all depicting the trademark. The business continued to grow, and in 1894, the first syrup manufacturing plant outside Atlanta was opened in Dallas, Texas. Others were opened in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California, the following year. In 1895, three years after The Coca-Cola Company's incorporation, Mr. Candler announced in his annual report to shareholders that "Coca-Cola is now drunk in every state and territory in the United States.”
As demand for Coca-Cola increased, the Company quickly outgrew its facilities. A new building erected in 1898 was the first headquarters building devoted exclusively to the production of syrup and the management of the business. Mr. Candler hailed the new, three-story structure...