Rock Hill Coca-Cola Blog

W. M. Mauldin with 1930s cart

Rock Hill Coca-Cola in the 1930s, part 1

New Packaging and an Icon Appears

Robert Woodruff’s genius and innovative marketing made it easier for people to drink Coca-Cola. Under his leadership the six-pack carton was developed. This made it easier for the housewife to buy the drink, take it home and serve to family and guests. Ad campaigns would reflect the hospitality of the day. The first Haddon Sundblum Santa Claus appeared in 1931.

Fountain Drinks Get Easier

In 1933 Chicago World’s Fair marked the introduction of automatic-fountain dispensers where syrup and carbonated water were mixed as the drink was poured. Soda fountain operators had dispensed Coca-Cola manually since its creation in 1886, and visitors to the fair were amazed to see the attendant pour a drink simply by pulling a handle. By 1937 the automatic dispenser had become an important feature of the fountain and similar “post-mix” outlets. In1935 the first standardized coin-operated vending machines were in use. Over 300 independent bottlers existed in United States.

Coca-Cola Celebrates 50 Years

In 1936 Coca-Cola celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The first official cooler was found at service stations.

W. M. Mauldin Is Recognized

The January 31, 1930 issue of the Yorkville Enquirer recognized Mr. W. M. Mauldin, head of the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Plant as someone “who, for more than twenty years had built up a prosperous business and is one of Rock Hill’s most prominent citizens. No man in this section of South Carolina holds a higher position in the esteem of his fellow citizens than W. Mark Mauldin of Rock Hill who has the Coca-Cola franchise for the distribution of that famous product in York County. Not only has this gentleman been eminently successful in business, but also he has not overlooked or neglected the finer and better things in life. He has been and is devoted to town and rural developments, always to be depended upon to do a little more than his share.

For twenty-one years, Mr. Mauldin has been engaged in this business and in fact he has never been in any other kind of business. In 1909 he distributed twelve hundred gallons of Coca-Cola syrup at his plant. In 1923 he distributed approximately twenty thousand gallons. He employs four trucks in the service of his company and gives employment to six people and the plant is a model one of its kind, being equipped with the very latest and best machinery it is possible to obtain. The entire plant is kept most sanitary and in a clean condition. During the course of the year Mr. Mauldin pays to the state of South Carolina twenty-five thousand dollars as a tax extracted by the state to help defray the cost of government. He is an active member of the Rock Hill Rotary Club and his home is one of the finest to be found in York County, the landscape feature being especially attractive. Mr. Mauldin’s hobby is golf, which he is keenly enthusiastic about.”