The Last Coca Cola

The last glass returnable bottle of Coca Cola ran off the line on Tuesday. And was immediately sold to a collector for $2,000.

That bottle, cast for the Minneapolis Coke bottling works in 1948 and filled at the Winona Coca-Cola Bottling Co., was the last 6.5-ounce glass returnable bottle of Coca-Cola filled and capped in the United States.

This beloved and iconic Coke bottle was the product of a 1915 design competition won by the Root Glass Company of Terra Haute Indiana. This design was unique and produced a practical bottle shape that could be instantly identified, even in pitch darkness, solely by feel.

So distinctive was the design it was both patented and trademarked. And so successful that for the next 40 years – until 1955 – the only way you could buy a Coca-Cola was in the 6.5-ounce returnable bottle or in a glass as a fountain drink. In 1955, King-sized Coke was introduced, in returnable 10, 12, and 26 ounce Family Size bottles. Coke in cans was introduced in 1960.

Here is more background from the Winona Daily News.


About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
This entry was posted in Beverages, Design Criticism, Environmental Packaging, Packages Yesterday and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Last Coca Cola

  1. Estiapack says:

    We love this bottle. It brings out happy memories

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