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Delivering happiness through the years: The evolution of Coca-Cola delivery trucks

Simon Templar
Coca Cola Delivery Trucks. Photo Found on Vintage Everyday

John Pemberton was a Confederate Colonel who was wounded in the American Civil War and became addicted to morphine. Later, he set out to find a substitute for the opiate.

The prototype for Coca-Cola was invented at Pemberton’s Eagle Drug and Chemical house in Columbus, Georgia but was actually a coca wine. Pemberton might have been inspired by Vin Mariani, a European coca wine.

In 1885, when Pemberton registered his French Wine Coca nerve tonic, but Atlanta and Fulton County passed their prohibition laws, he brought out Coca-Cola as a non-alcoholic version of his wine.

The first sales of Coca-Cola were at the Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886.

It was originally sold as a medicine for 5 cents per glass at soda fountains.

Back then, soda fountains were extremely popular because of the belief that carbonated water was good for people’s health.

John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola. Photo Credit

John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola. Photo Credit

What do you think date wise? 1917? Photo Credit

What do you think date wise? 1917? Photo Credit

Rapid Motor Company Delivery Truck, 1909 First delivery of Coca-Cola to Knoxville, TN Photo Credit

Rapid Motor Company Delivery Truck, 1909 First delivery of Coca-Cola to Knoxville, TN Photo Credit

Coca Cola Fountain Car, 1930s. Photo Credit

Coca Cola Fountain Car, 1930s. Photo Credit

COE Coca Cola Trailer Truck. Photo credit

COE Coca Cola Trailer Truck. Photo credit

Every bottle sterilised! Photo Credit

Every bottle sterilised! Photo Credit

1920, coca-cola delivery men, Vernon Tx. Photo Credit

1920, coca-cola delivery men, Vernon Tx. Photo Credit

Those wooden crates are now collectables. Photo Credit

Those wooden crates are now collectables. Photo Credit

Chevy delivery truck. Photo Credit

Chevy delivery truck. Photo Credit

Coca Cola truck outside the Bottling Company – Saint Petersburg, Florida. Photo Credit

Coca Cola truck outside the Bottling Company – Saint Petersburg, Florida. Photo Credit

Gorgeous! Photo Credit

Gorgeous! Photo Credit

Coca-Cola Delivery Truck, 1940s Photo Credit

Coca-Cola Delivery Truck, 1940s Photo Credit

Tampa Coca-Cola Bottling Company truck – Tampa, Florida. Photo Credit

Tampa Coca-Cola Bottling Company truck – Tampa, Florida. Photo Credit

Pemberton even went on to lie about how Coca-Cola cured many diseases including dyspepsia, headache, impotence, morphine addiction and neurasthenia.

Pemberton ran the very first advertisement for Coca-Cola in the Atlanta Journal/

There were three different versions of Coca-Cola on the market by 1888, manufactured by three different companies.

On January 14th, 1888, a partnership was formed between Pemberton and four businessmen named A.O. Murphey, E.H. Bloodworth, J.C. Bayfield and C.O. Mullahy.

Delivery man loading bottle cases of Coca-Cola soda onto the open bed of an International C-300 delivery truck, 1936. Photo Credit

Delivery man loading bottle cases of Coca-Cola soda onto the open bed of an International C-300 delivery truck, 1936. Photo Credit

Vintage Coca-Cola truck. 1930s? Photo Credit

Vintage Coca-Cola truck. 1930s Photo Credit

Coca-Cola – Truck Ford 1931 Photo Credit.

Coca-Cola – Truck Ford 1931 Photo Credit.

Delivery truck for local delivers. Photo Credit

Delivery truck for local delivers. Photo Credit

1939 Mack EHU. Photo Credit

1939 Mack EHU. Photo Credit

New Orleans Coca-Cola Truck. Photo Credit

New Orleans Coca-Cola Truck. Photo Credit

Great picture – any idea of the date? Photo Credit

Great picture – any idea of the date? Photo Credit

1949 White COE Coca Cola truck Photo Credit

1949 White COE Coca Cola truck Photo Credit

1930 White Coca Cola Bottlers Enclosed Van. Photo Credit

1930 White Coca Cola Bottlers Enclosed Van. Photo Credit

There were no signed documents to back up the claims made by Asa Candler years when he had later claimed to posses a stake in Pemberton’s company as early in 1887.

Pemberton declared that the name of “Coca-Cola” was owned by his son Charley, but the other two manufacturers are permitted to continue to use the formula.

Charley’s control over the “Coca-Cola” name was the main factor for him to participate as a major shareholder in the Coca-Cola Company incorporation filing in March, 1888.

Charley’s exclusive ownership over the name was always a thorn in the side of Candler. Candler’s oldest son, Charles Howard Candler, later wrote a book that was published by the Emory University, in 1950.

In the biography about his father, Candler states that “on April 14th,1888vthe young druggist [Asa Griggs Candler] purchased a one-third interest in the formula of an entirely unknown proprietary elixir known as Coca-Cola.”