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Rock Hill Coca-Cola in the 1920s, part 1

1920s Brought Change

The 1920s brought change to The Coca-Cola Company, Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company and to the Mauldin family. The number of bottlers increased in numbers from two in 1900 to approximately 1000 in 1920. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes handed down the decision of the Supreme Court that upheld trademark violations for the Coca-Cola Company against the “Koke Company of America.”

Robert Winship Woodruff

In 1923 Robert Winship Woodruff, son of Ernest Woodruff, was elected president of the Coca-Cola Company and led for the next six decades in service as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of the Coca-Cola Company. Robert W. Woodruff would introduce Coca-Cola to the world. His leadership took the company to unrivaled heights of commercial success. Merchandising concepts accepted as commonplace today were considered revolutionary. Woodruff began a major push to establish bottling operations outside the United States. Perhaps no other person had more impact on the Coca-Cola Company than Robert Woodruff. While Candler had introduced the United States to Coca-Cola, Woodruff spent nearly sixty years introducing the beverage to the world beyond.

Innovations in Packaging

In 1923 six-bottle cartons arrived. The simple cardboard carton, described as a “home package with a handle of invitation,” became one of the industry’s most powerful advertising tools. In 1925 open-top metal coolers became the forerunners of the automated vending machines. This made it possible for Coca-Cola to be served ice cold in retail outlets, break rooms in factories and offices for on-the-spot refreshment.

The Mauldin Family Grew and Moved

On Jan 28, 1923, Elizabeth Williams Mauldin (Betty) was born. Also in that year, the Mauldins moved to their new home at 607 Aiken Avenue. Earlier they had moved from Marion Street to the corner of Oakland Avenue and Aiken Avenue. They purchased the home from Mr. W. R. Armstrong, a former mayor of Rock Hill who operated a mill on Stewart Avenue. The number of children had increased to five, and the new house was perfect for the growing family. The home was also perfect for entertaining, and Mayme envisioned a beautiful garden in the back. The home became the Mauldin Home and was a haven for the family and an entertainment center for Rock Hill society.

Rock Hill Grew, Too

In 1925 The Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company was experiencing tremendous growth. The town of Rock Hill was growing. The infrastructure of streets was improved and lengthened. The company decided to build a new plant to meet the demands of growth. The size of the fleet of trucks and the number of employees had increased. Sales had expanded and the result was a new building located on East White Street.

Coca-Cola Business Boomed

Improved machinery was also installed in plants in Bennettsville, Dillon, and Florence, South Carolina. Luther Snyder’s Charlotte Plant business sold product equal to $250,000 in just Charlotte. The Coca-Cola business was booming in the 1920s!