The life of the Coca-Cola Company in general and the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company specifically grew in important ways in the 1950s.
On Thanksgiving Day in 1950, Edgar Bergen and his sidekick, Charlie McCarthy, appeared on the first live television network show sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company. Many famous celebrities were to follow!
Innovations in Packaging and Advertising
Packaging innovations were made when consumers had choices of Coca-Cola package size and type. They had a choice of the traditional 6.5 oz Contour bottle or larger servings including 10, 12 and 26 oz. (family size) versions. Until the mid 1950s the world of Coca- Cola was defined by 6.5 oz. hobble-skirt bottle or bell-shaped fountain glass. But as consumers demanded a wide variety of choices, the Company responded with innovative packaging, new technology and new products. Through the years, advertising for Coca-Cola has changed in many ways, but the message, like the trademark, remained the same.
The 3rd billionth gallon of Coca-Cola syrup was manufactured. Coca-Cola Refreshment Center opened at Disneyland. Coca-Cola starts sponsorship of The Mickey Mouse Club TV Show. Television replaced radio as the dominant mass medium in industrialized countries. Coke Time with Eddie Fisher was on NBC.
Rock Hill Coke Celebrates 50 Years
The Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company celebrated 50 years of business. The festivities of the 1950s included a picnic and square dance, as well as a dinner party at the country club for employees of the company. The town helped to celebrate the anniversary with an open house on Oct 17 and 18, 1956. During the open house approximately 4,000 people attended the public tours during the two day celebration. At the time of the 50th Anniversary celebration Pat Straight was an employee for 37 years, W. M. Mauldin was president, Mrs. W. M. Mauldin was secretary and W. M. Mauldin, Jr. was vice president and general manager.
An Indelible Imprint
On April 16, 1958, the life of William Mark Mauldin, President of the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company came to an end. Billy Mauldin had unofficially taken over the reins of managing the company. The transition for Billy to assume the presidency was smooth. The legacy of William Mark Mauldin profoundly impacted the members of his family and the citizens of Rock Hill. The examples that Mark Mauldin set for others were not just as a successful businessman, but also as a businessman who was loyal to his employees, his product, his customers and his community. He was a man of generous spirit and great faith. The imprint he left on the society he loved was indelible.