Opening day for the baseball season is right around the corner, and I thought you might be interested to find out why Coca-Cola and baseball are linked in more ways than the fact that both are national traditions. The next time you drink a Coke in a bottle, you can thank baseball. Legend has it that a couple of baseball fans were the innovators of the bottling system that has distributed Coca-Cola all over the world. The baseball fans - Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead of Chattanooga, Tennessee - were deprived of Coca-Cola whenever they went to baseball games back in the 1890s because the product was only available as a soda fountain drink. Initially, their response was to put Coca-Cola into corked bottles to take with them to games. They saw the obvious opportunity and eventually requested and received the rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola nationally in 1899. The rest is history.
Bottling in the early days was not quite as speedy and advanced a process as it is today, it was actually a very laborious process. As a toast to this year’s baseball season, as well as Coke in bottles, enjoy this video clip from Refreshment Through The Years. If you watch carefully, you may be able to spot a "Cityville Coca-Cola" delivery wagon very similar to the one we just acquired that is pictured in my blog post from earlier this week.
More on Journey
- Driving Home the Message of Atlanta's Civil Rights Legacy
- Andy Warhol and Coca-Cola: From Classic to New Coke and Back Again
- Meet Mr K: Fred Kirkpatrick, 97, Celebrates 80 Years With Coca-Cola
- Disney and Coca-Cola Archivists Swap Stories on Shared History
- Coca-Cola Salesman's Career in Mississippi Started During Civil Rights Movement