132 Years of Coca-Cola History

1886

John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, invents Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola is named by Frank Robinson, John Pemberton's bookkeeper.

1891

Atlanta businessman Asa Griggs Candler secured rights to the business for a total of about $2,300. Candler would become the Company's first president, and the first to bring real vision to the business and the brand.

1893

Candler found brilliant and innovative ways to introduce them to this exciting new refreshment. He gave away coupons for complimentary first tastes of Coca-Cola, and outfitted distributing pharmacists with clocks, urns, calendars and apothecary scales bearing the Coca-Cola brand.

1894

Mississippi businessman, Joseph Biedenharn became the first to put Coca-Cola in bottles.

1895

Candler had built syrup plants in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

1899

Chattanooga lawyers, Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead, secured exclusive rights from Candler to bottle and sell the beverage -- for the sum of only one dollar.

1911

Kola nuts act as a flavoring and the source of caffeine in Coca-Cola instead of coca leaves.

1915

The Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, won a contest to design a bottle that could be recognized in the dark.

1916

Manufacturing the famous contour bottle begins.

1919

Ernest Woodruff purchased the Company from Asa Candler.

1920

1,000 Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States, Canada, Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, France, and other countries and U.S. territories

1923

Robert Woodruff becomes the company president and spends more than 60 years as the company leader.

1928

Coca Cola is introduced to the Olymipc games for the first time when Coca-Cola traveled with the U.S. team to the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

1935

Coca-Cola is certified kosher by Rabbi Tobias Geffen, after the company made minor changes in the sourcing of some ingredients.

1941

In 1941, America entered World War II. Thousands of men and women were sent overseas. The country, and Coca-Cola, rallied behind them. Woodruff ordered that "every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents, wherever he is, and whatever it costs the Company."

The name Coke is used for the first time in magazine ads to help establish it as a trademark.

1943

General Dwight D. Eisenhower sent an urgent cablegram to Coca-Cola, requesting shipment of materials for 10 bottling plants.

1950

Coca-Cola is the first product to ever appear on the cover of Time Magazine.

1955

King size and family-size bottles of Coke are introduced.

1960

The twelve ounce can of Coca-Cola is introduced.

1961

Sprite is introduced.

1963

TaB, the very first diet soda, is introduced.

1970

The Coca-Cola "wave" is introduced to the logo designs.

1971

A group of young people from all over the world gathered on a hilltop in Italy to sing "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke."

1978

The Coca-Cola Company was selected as the only Company allowed to sell packaged cold drinks in the People's Republic of China.

1979

The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame is founded by the U.S. Olympic Comittee and Coca-Cola.

1981

Roberto C. Goizueta became chairman of The Board of Directors and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. Goizueta, who fled Castro's Cuba in 1961, completely overhauled the Company with a strategy he called "intelligent risk taking."

1982

Diet Coke is introduced.

1985

Coca-Cola changes the formula (and taste) for Coke, the results were disaterous, and brings back the original recipe (with the exception of corn syrup instead of sugar) as Coca-Cola Classic.

Coca-Cola is the first soft drink to consumed in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

1989

Coca-Cola become the first trademark displayed in Pushkin Square in Moscow.

1991

The 20 oz. plastic contour bottle is introduced.

1993

"Always Coca-Cola" advertising slogan introduced.

Coca-Cola Polar Bears are introduced.

2005

Coca-Cola resumes operations in Iraq for the first time since the Arab League boycotted the company in 1968.

2006

120th Anniversary of Coca-Cola

2007

",Classic" is removed from the name of Coca-Cola Classic in Canada, since the "New" formula was no longer in production.

2009

The "Open Happiness" campaign was unveiled globally. The central message of "Open Happiness" is an invitation to billions around the world to pause, refresh with a Coca-Cola, and continue to enjoy one of life's simple pleasures.

2011

The word ",Classic" is removed from all Coca-Cola products world wide

2012

Coca-Cola resumed business in Myanmar after 60 years of absence due to U.S.-imposed investment sanctions against the country.

2014

Coca-Cola forms a long-term partnership with Monster Beverage, with the two forging a strategic marketing and distribution alliance, and product line swap. As part of the deal Coca-Cola acquires a 16.7% stake in Monster for $2.15 billion, with an option to increase it to 25%

2016

130th Anniversary of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola bought many of the former SABMiller's Coca-Cola operations

2018

Coca-Cola announced it would be launching a Chu-Hi alcoholic drink in Japan