Our look at the fascinating history of the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company continues this month with a brief recap of the men and events that led to the company’s existence. The bottling of Coca-Cola in the Rock Hill area closely follows the rise of the Coca-Cola Company to a world-wide concern. We then move on to a discussion of the early marketing efforts of the Coca-Cola Company.
A Brief Recap of Early Rock Hill Coke History
After Luther Snyder had completed his training in the Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company, opened by bottler founder Jospeh Whitehead, he purchased the Charlotte North Carolina Territory from Mr. Whitehead and his brother-in-law, J.T. Lupton. Luther enlisted the help of his father-in-law A.D. Crisman, to manage counties in bordering South Carolina until he could locate the right person to purchase the exclusive right to bottle and sell Coca-Cola to the customers in the Counties of York, Chester and Lancaster. Crisman served as the first manager of the Rock Hill Plant. The first syrup shipment was made to the plant in 1906. Nine hundred thirty-four gallons were shipped in 1908. The plant was sold to William Mark Mauldin on November 24, 1908.
Coca-Cola Expands Operations and Marketing in the Early 20th Century
Through the early 1900’s bottling operations were built in Cuba, Panama, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. The expansion occurred under the enthusiastic leadership of Asa Candler. In 1906 the advertising genius of the William D’Arcy Agency and Archie Lee set the tone of Coca-Cola advertising. The ads depicted scenes that made people feel that Coca-Cola was an integral part of the interludes of everyday life (See Frederick Allen’s excellent book Secret Formula: How Brilliant Marketing and Relentless Salesmanship Made Coca-Cola the Best-Known Product in the World).
The Slogans that Made the Brand
Even a quick look at the slogans shaping the brand in the first years of the 20th Century will demonstrate a clear brand identity. That strong sense of corporate identity has continued unabated. In 1904 the slogan was “Delicious and Refreshing” and in 1905, “Coca-Cola Revives and Sustains.” The straight-sided crown-top bottles were used. In 1906 ads were “The Great National Temperance Drink” and in 1908 “Good to the Last Drop.”