Rock Hill Coca-Cola Requests Permission to Deliver
Today we continue our look at documents from the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company history.
The following letter is dated February 25, 1913. In it William Mark Mauldin of Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company writes to Charles Rainwater of the Coca-Cola Company requesting permission to deliver Coca-Cola to the Marretta Mills Store in Lando, South Carolina. Notice that as early as 1913 Coke had already established tense rivalries with competing soft drink companies.
Letter Dated February 1913
The letter reads (transcribed mostly as-is):
Rock Hill, S.C., Feb 25, 1913
Mr. C V Rainwater
Dear Sir—Mr. Heath the Manager of the Marretta Mills Store at Lando has been trying to get Coca-Cola from us ever since you stopped us from going down there but of course we cannot supply him without permission from you. Now I have just had a talk with him and he says if he cannot get Coca-Cola from, he will buy Pepsi Cola from Chester. These people positively will not handle Coca-Cola from Chester. This is what I want to impress on your mind that is, we do not want any more Pepsi Cola in our territory and if these people begin handling it again it just means about 150 Dz bottles of Pepsi Cola sold in our territory where it could be and ought to be Coca-Cola. The Pepsi Cola people at Charlotte say they are going to put a plant here this spring and of course this plant[?] would make them a good customer.
So you see we would all loose [sic] the sale of lots of Coca-Cola during the year. I never have thought that you fully understood the facts in this case. You know Mr. Jones never has sold these people very much Coca-Cola. When I began working there 3 years ago, they were handling Pepsi Cola from here. Mr. Jones would not loose [sic] one cent by letting us work this place, because as stated above he never has been able to sell these people. You know we are having a hard fight with Pepsi Cola over in these parts, and since we have them almost out of here for good we want to keep them that way. Of course you realize this fight means your success as well as ours if they do come down here and put in a plant and find they can sell 2 good wagon loads a week at Lando. This will go a long way towards paying rent and horse feed.
Now I know this man Heath pretty well and as I told you above he never has and never will buy Coca-Cola from Chester to amount to anything. I would be willing to pay Mr. Jones a reasonable sum to relinquish his claim to Lando. Suppose you take this up along this line with him and see if we can’t do something that will do you and I both some good.
I have [word unclear] to make this plain to you. If Mr. Jones was getting this business it would be a different thing but he is not and never did. So you see it is going to be a clear loss to you and me too. I hope you will favor me with an early reply.
W M Mauldin