"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
interpreting this important moment in our nation's history.
learn more about the Robert Dafford Vicksburg murals, visit the Vicksburg Riverfront
Murals web site.