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Weird Facts about Coca-Cola®

  • Dr. John Styth Pemberton, inventor of Globe of Flower Cough Syrup, Indian Queen Hair Dye, Triplex Liver Pills, and Extract of Styllinger, was eager to duplicate Vin Mariani, a popular wine elixir made with coca. In his backyard at 107 Marietta Street in Atlanta, Georgia, Pemberton developed a thick syrup drink from sugar water, a kola nut extract, and coca. Pemberton brought his new syrup elixir to Jacob’s Drug Store where druggist Willis Venable added carbonated water.
  • Bookkeeper Frank M. Robinson, one of Coca-Cola inventor Dr. John Styth Pemberton's four partners, suggested naming the elixir after two of the main ingredients: the coca leaf and the kola nut. He suggested spelling kola with a c for the sake of alliteration. Robinson wrote the name in his bookkeeper's Spencerian script, much the way it appears today.
  • The rights to the name and formula were bought and sold several times before Asa G. Candler acquired them in 1888. Candler kept the formula a well-guarded secret, and on January 31, 1893, trademarked the name.
  • Alexander Samuelson designed the distinctively shaped Coke bottle at Root Glass in Terre Haute, Indiana.
  • Coca-Cola stock went public in 1919 at $40 per share. In 1994, one of those shares was worth $118,192.76, including dividends.
  • Rumor contends that a piece of meat left in a glass of Coca-Cola overnight will be completely dissolved by the following morning. It won't. A piece of meat soaked in Coca-Cola overnight will, however, be marinated and tender.
  • During the 1960s, the Coca-Cola jingle was sung by Roy Orbison, the Supremes, the Moody Blues, Ray Charles (who sang the Diet Pepsi jingle in the 1990s), the Fifth Dimension, Aretha Franklin, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
  • The World of Coca-Cola, a three-story pavilion in Atlanta, GA, features exhibits (including a 1,000-piece memorabilia collection and John Pemberton's original handwritten formula book), soda fountains of the past and future, bottling exhibits, samples of Coca-Cola products from around the world, and films of Coca-Cola commercials.
  • "Good to the Last Drop," a slogan used by Maxwell House coffee, was first used by Coca-Cola in 1908.
  • Shaking up a bottle of Coca-Cola for use as a douche immediately after sexual intercourse has been considered an effective method of contraception among the uneducated. It does not work.
  • Since 1920, the Coca-Cola sign has been a continuously changing landmark in New York City’s Times Square. The Coke bottle unveiled on the billboard in 1991 and displayed for thirteen years was the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottle. The Coca-Cola billboard unveiled in 2004 measures more than six-stories high and illuminates more than 2.6 million light-emitting diodes.
  • The 1961 madcap comedy One, Two, Three stars James Cagney as a Coca-Cola bottler in West Berlin during the Cold War, who tries to prevent his American boss’s daughter from marrying an East Berlin communist.
  • In the 1964 Stanley Kubrick movie Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), Peter Sellers instructs his sidekick to shoot the lock off of a Coca-Cola vending machine to get the change to make a phone call to the President to prevent a nuclear war. The sidekick warns him, “You’re gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola Company.”
  • Placing a can of Coca-Cola in a freezer causes the liquid in the can to expand, and the can, pressurized from the carbonation, may explode, spraying the inside walls of the freezer with slushy Coca-Cola.
  • The 1971 Coca-Cola television commercial, featuring the song “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” was filmed on a hilltop in Rome, Italy, and featured five hundred young people from around the world, hired from embassies and schools in Rome. The close-up shots, however, were filmed at a racetrack in Rome. For the commercial, the British group the New Seekers sang the song—written by Bill Backer, Billy Davis, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway—and recorded a retitled version of the song for national release as “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony),” which become the Top Ten hit. The Coca-Cola Company donated the first $80,000 of royalties earned from the song to UNICEF.
  • The 1980 South African comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy follows the adventures of a remote Bushman who mistakes an empty Coke bottle tossed from an airplane as a gift from the gods.
  • Since 1893, the recipe for Coca-Cola has been changed only once. In 1985, when Pepsi-Cola outsold Coca-Cola in the United States for the first time in history, the Coca-Cola Company sweetened the product and renamed it New Coke. Within three months, consumers forced the company to bring back the old formula. It became known as Coca-Cola Classic, and New Coke, considered the marketing fiasco of the decade, soon disappeared from the marketplace.
  • The 1985 Australian movie The Coca-Cola Kid stars Eric Roberts as an American Coca-Cola executive from Georgia sent to the Australian outback to market the soft drink.
  • In July 1985, Coca-Cola became the first soft-drink consumed in space aboard a space shuttle mission.
Copyright © 1995- Joey Green. "Coca-Cola," "Coke", and "The Real Thing" are registered trademarks of the Coca-Cola Company.
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