Although we’ve touched briefly on the history of the Coke bottle here, we’d like to examine the iconic object further. Read on for a brief but enlightening explanation of how the Coke bottle came to be.
From its invention by John Stith Pemberton in 1886 until 1899, Coca-Cola was available only as a fountain drink. Consumers had no way to enjoy Coke at home.
The first bottles of Coke appeared in 1899. They were a far cry from the bottles we know now. The mostly cylindrical bottles featured a rounded top and short, straight neck. They used metal stoppers.
New Bottle, New Logo
By 1906, Coca-Cola began using a both a new bottle and a new logo. These bottles featured straight sides and a longer neck than their predecessors. Sporting a diamond-shaped logo with the Spencerian script, these bottles are still barely recognizable as Coke bottles. Many were made with brown glass.
In 1915 the Root Glass Company began manufacturing a new round-sided bottle. This distinct shape was the first move towards the Coke bottle as we know it. The curves, however, were much more pronounced. Part of the rationale behind the distinctive shape was so that people could recognize it as a Coke bottle by feel alone.
Six Pack Innovation
While not directly related to the evolution of the Coke bottle, it’s worth noting that Coca-Cola invented the six pack in the 1920s to make it easier for customers to take home plenty of Coke.
By 1928, more Coca-Cola was sold in bottles than from soda fountains. The Coke bottle dominance took only 29 years. More people were enjoying their Coca-Cola from the bottle than ever before, a trend that continued.
The Contour Bottle
By the 1950s, the bottle design had settled into the shape that is so familiar to us today. That shape is so distinct, in fact, that a 1949 study indicated that 99% of Americans could identify the product as Coca-Cola by the shape of the bottle alone.
The Bottle We Know and Love
It’s difficult to think of Coca-Cola without thinking of the Contour Coke Bottle. That shape, together with the Spencerian script and distinct red, have imprinted themselves indelibly on our minds.