Coca-Cola found its way into British soda fountains in 1900, when Charles Howard Candler brought five gallons of syrup with him on a visit to London. The drink caught on slowly, as the concept of fizzy drinks wasn’t as popular in the UK as it already was in the US. One of the biggest fountains was at Selfridges – you can see it in this 1926 photo from our internal magazine, The Red Barrel.
The Company wanted to start bottling in Britain, so they sent the wonderfully named Hamilton Horsey to work out the best way to do it. He spent several weeks in England interviewing possible customers and suppliers (including Mr Selfridge). Horsey suggested that to introduce Coca-Cola to the English market, the Company would need to avoid “every show of pomp and the ‘braggadocio’ attitude which sometimes distinguishes the American manufacturer in foreign markets”.
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