Joe Biedenharn decided to bottle Coca-Cola, he used the bottles that
he had on hand, those that he was using to bottle soda water using
equipment he had bought from the Sarasota Springs operation. These
were Hutchinson blob-top bottles embossed with "Biedenharn Candy
Company, Vicksburg, Miss."
bottles were sealed with a rubber disk that was pushed into the neck
of the bottle and held with a wire. The bottles were used for only a
short time because the rubber changed the flavor of the drink after
about a week.
early 1900s, Joe switched to straight-sided crown bottles which
maintained the integrity of the true taste of Coca-Cola. They did
not, however, give any uniformity to the packaging image of the
beverage. The color of the glass varied from clear and aqua to
differing shades of blue, green and amber.
addition, the amount of liquid that a bottle contained varied from
6-7 ounces. The early straight-sided crown bottles were hand blown
in molds which often left rough seams, bubbles, imperfections and
irregular areas of thick and thin glass. After 1910, the bottles
were machine-made and became more uniform. Biedenharn straight-sides
were embossed with "Biedenharn Candy Company, Vicksburg, Miss.,"
with Coca-Cola in script across the base in some cases.
By 1913, those involved in the Coca-Cola
Company saw the need for a distinctive package in order to fight
imitators. Ben Thomas, one of the original patent bottlers, noted
that "we need a bottle which a person can recognize as a
Coca-Cola bottle when he feels it in the dark.”
As a result of some inaccurate research by the team
at Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, a bottle was designed
that resembled the cacao bean, the source of chocolate instead of
the coca bean. Nonetheless, the Root Glass Company bested eight
other competitors at a meeting of the seven bottlers in 1916.
The exaggerated center section was trimmed down and the “contour”
bottle, or “Mae West” bottle or “Hobble skirt” bottle,
whichever name you chose, was born. The bottle was recognized
by the United States patent office in 1960, a distinction among
bottles shared at the time by only one other.
and Coke are registered trademarks
of The Coca-Cola Company