God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll (archmage) wrote,
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll
archmage

Oh, hey, by the way, today is the 121st anniversary of the very first glass of Coca-Cola ever served.

On May 8, 1886, at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Ga., Dr. John Stith Pemberton mixed carbonated water with a syrup he'd invented. The result was the world's first glass of Coca-Cola. The price for one glass was five cents, and Pemberton advertised it as a health tonic. Pemberton didn't work alone -- his bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, suggested the product's name, which he wrote using sweeping, cursive letters (this became the product's logo seen today). The name "Coca-Cola" comes from two of its original ingredients -- the coca leaf and the kola nut. The coca leaf is used in cocaine production, and from 1886 until 1905, Coca-Cola contained traces of cocaine.

Worldwide recognition didn't come overnight, though. At first, Pemberton sold only a few glasses of Coca-Cola per day. In 1887, the Coca-Cola Company distributed coupons for free samples -- it claims that it was the first to use this method of attracting new customers. In 1894, candy maker Joseph Biedenharn became the first person to bottle Coca-Cola. Suddenly, the beverage became available to people who didn't have easy access to a soda counter. Bottling proved to be the key to the soda's success. The Coca-Cola Company started developing its global bottling network in the late 1800s. Between 1890 and 1900, Coca-Cola syrup sales shot up 4,000 percent. By 1919, the company had bottling plants in Europe and Asia, and in 1920, there were more than 1,000 bottling plants in the United States. Today, Coca-Cola is one of the most prevalent brands in the world. The company sells more than 1.3 billion drinks every day in 200 countries worldwide.

According to the Coca-Cola press site, if you put all of the Coca-Cola ever produced into 8-ounce contour bottles, you'd have a total of six trillion bottles. Placed end to end, these bottles would make a tower 85 times taller than Mount Everest, which could reach to the moon and back 1,677 times. (However, an 8-ounce contour bottle of Coca-Cola produced in the United States is about 7.5 inches (19.05 centimeters) tall. Six trillion of them would make a tower approximately 710,227,272 miles (1,142,999,998 kilometers) tall. This is about 33,787,194 miles (54,375,217) too short to make a round-trip to the moon 1,677 times when it's at its closest point to the Earth. Additionally, 85 stacked Mount Everests would be only 468 miles (753 kilometers) high -- significantly shorter than a tower that could make 1,677 round trips to the moon.)
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