"The First Bottling of Coca-Cola"
On a summer day in 1894, Joseph
Biedenharn, a candy merchant and soda fountain operator, had an idea
that would reshape the soft drink industry. He took the
popular fountain beverage, Coca-Cola, put it in bottles, and
delivered it to rural areas outside of Vicksburg.
It was the first time Coca-Cola had
been sold in bottles. Mr. Biedenharn created a totally new
concept of marketing the beverage and established the cornerstone of
the independent network of franchise bottlers who now distribute
bottled Coca-Cola all over the world.
Born in 1866, Joseph Biedenharn was
the eldest of eight children and, in his teens, became part of the
candy business founded by his father and uncle. Later, he and
his brothers Will, Harry, Lawrence, Herman, Ollie, Albert and sister
Katy acquired franchises to bottle Coca-Cola in Mississippi,
Louisiana and Texas.
The building located at 1107
Washington Street, where the first bottling took place, was built in
1890 and is operated today as the museum interpreting this important
moment in our nation's history.
learn more about the Robert Dafford Vicksburg murals, visit the
Vicksburg Riverfront Murals web site.