Can Holiday: National Have a Coke Day – May 8


On May 8th, 1886, the first Coca-Cola soft drink was sold. It was at a place called Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia and was in the format of a fountain drink. Doctor John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in a three legged brass kettle in his backyard. The name came from a suggestion by Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, who scripted the logo that is still used today. For about the first 20 years this “tonic” was sold, it contained cocaine in addition to the kola nut which was rich in caffeine.

How to Celebrate

National Have a Coke Day can be celebrated in no other way than to consume a Coca-Cola beverage. Any flavor of Coca-Cola will do and there are many to choose from. If for some reason you cannot drink a Coke today, buy one for a friend.

The Can

1955 Coca-Cola Can

1955 Coca-Cola Can

Note the details on this steel can

Note the details on this steel can

To celebrate this day, we selected the first production can of Coca-Cola from 1955. This can, however was not sold to the public. It was a test marketed can as executives were worried what Coca-Cola would taste like out of a can instead of from a fountain and was sent to the military in the Far East. This steel can is red with a white diamond and the Coca-Cola logo in the middle of the diamond. On it reads the words, “Reg. U. S. Pat. Off., Prepared for Export Only, The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New Bedford, Mass.”

1936 Coca-Cola "Cone" Style Can

1936 Coca-Cola “Cone” Style Can
(Source: Coca-Cola Blog, Photo by “loic4467″)

The oldest cans of Coca-Cola were all test market samples and never sold to the public. There are two cone top cans in existence from 1936 that were found at Design Museum in Pathersol, Belgium. One can is 32 oz. and the other is 16 oz. Both of these cans, as well as the 1955 Coca-Cola can are extremely rare.

Happy National Have a Coke Day (5/8)!

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