Rock Hill Coca-Cola Blog

1920s The Pause that Refreshes

Rock Hill Coca-Cola in the 1920s, part 2

A Robbery Foiled

An anecdote in the Coca-Cola Bottler told how “a streak of luck was brought by the forgetfulness of Mr. W. M. Mauldin, manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Rock Hill, South Carolina. It saved him the loss of a large sum of money. Mark had returned to his plant early one night to get some eggs that he had left on top of the safe in his office. He frightened off a burglar who had been endeavoring to open the safe and had already succeeded in breaking off the handle of the safe. The robber fled and Mark took his eggs home for Mayme to have for breakfast in the morning.”

A Popular Slogan Appears

In the mid 1920s radio had been the most important communication media for Coca-Cola, including the jingle “Around the Corner from Everywhere.” “The Pause That Refreshes” advertisement first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post during this time.

A New Coca-Cola Dispenser

In 1927 the New Orleans’ meeting of Bottlers displayed the new counter dispenser manufactured by the ICY-O Company of Charlotte, NC. The dispenser was intended for the exclusive sale of Coca-Cola at down-town drugstores, and hotel and theater lobbies. The dispenser was finished in mahogany with Coca-Cola advertising in gold. It generated positive comments.

A New Life and a Tragedy for the Mauldins

In 1927, another daughter, Ann Bruce Mauldin, was born on June 11. Life on Aiken Avenue appeared idyllic. The company, the family, and the town experienced growth. Life was good. Then tragedy struck. In the year 1928, beautiful five-year old Betty was the fatal victim of an unbelievable accident. According to The Herald’s account on Nov 3, 1928, Betty died from injuries sustained the night before. The accident occurred when Betty and several playmates attempted to cross Charlotte Avenue, where the city was laying pipe. Betty’s foot slipped on the narrow pedestrian path, and she fell into a large trench. A pipe fell on top of her. She never regained consciousness. Betty was the “sun-shine” of the Mauldin home. Her funeral was a touching service held at the Aiken Avenue Mauldin residence. The music was very moving as a group of children from their church’s Sunday school sang “When He Comes to Take Up His Jewels.”

The Mauldin Family Carries On

This tragedy did not destroy the Mauldin family. Their faith kept them strong and they maintained the status quo of daily life in the family and the business. Mark would continue to grow the bottling business and Mayme maintained the calm atmosphere in the house-hold. Mayme found therapy and solace in her gardening. She was able to continue to fulfill her social obligations and opened her home to entertain friends, host teas, dinners, charity functions and society dances. Mayme and Mark strengthened each other and the strength from their faith in God in a time of tragedy was a positive example for everyone.

Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games

The Coca-Cola Company and the Olympic Games began their association in the summer of 1928, when an American freighter arrived in Amsterdam carrying the United States Olympic team and 1,000 cases of Coca-Cola. Forty thousand spectators filled the stadium to witness two firsts: the first lighting of the Olympic flame and the first sale of Coca-Cola at an Olympiad.

Bottle Sales vs Fountain Sales

Bottle sales of Coca-Cola exceeded fountain sales in 1929. To increase the fountain sales, Woodruff advertised the beverage in a distinctive fountain glass adopted as standard and still used at many soda fountains today.