Today is “Inventors Day,” and I wanted to take a minute to honor the founders and innovators behind Coca-Cola.

First, our inventor: Dr. John Pemberton created Coca-Cola and first sold it on May 8, 1886. In coming up with Coca-Cola, Dr. Pemberton actually created an entirely new kind of drink -- cola.

Coke_coupon_inventors_dayDid you know the first “try one” coupon was distributed by Coca-Cola? We started sharing certificates for free samples of Coke in the late 1880s, one of our early innovations.

I also wanted to honor one of our early leaders, Asa Candler. Candler, who took over running Coca-Cola in 1891, was an innovator in the way he marketed Coca-Cola.

Candler thought about ways to spread the Coca-Cola name. He put our trademark on common, helpful, everyday items that people would actually use (like clocks and scales at drug stores) and on pieces such as calendars that they would display year-round.

Robert Woodruff was our leader for six decades, and some key innovations that might seem commonplace today came about during his tenure.

  • The six-pack carton for bottles? That’s an innovation from Coke from the 1920s.
  • The self-serve cooler? That’s also ours from the 1920s.
  • A soda dispenser that serves the Coca-Cola already mixed together (water and syrup)? That’s another Coke innovation from the 1930s.

I could go on and on here, and I hope to cover these and other innovations in more detail later. But for now, join me in honoring the people who helped make Coca-Cola what it is today!