Asa Candler, a natural born salesman, transformed Coca-Cola from an invention into a business.
Candler knew there were thirsty people out there, and he found brilliant and innovative ways to introduce them to this exciting new refreshment. He gave away coupons for complimentary first tastes of Coca-Cola and outfitted distributing pharmacists with clocks, urns, calendars and apothecary scales bearing the Coca-Cola branding. People saw Coca-Cola everywhere, and the aggressive promotion worked. By 1895, Candler had built syrup plants in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Inevitably, the drink’s popularity led to a demand for it to be enjoyed in new ways. In 1894, a Mississippi businessman named Joseph Biedenharn became the first to put Coca-Cola in bottles. He sent 12 of them to Candler who responded without enthusiasm. Despite being a brilliant and innovative businessman, he didn’t realise then that the future of Coca-Cola would be with portable, bottled beverages customers could take anywhere. He still didn’t realise it five years later, when, in 1899, two Chattanooga lawyers, Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead, secured exclusive rights from Candler to bottle and sell the beverage for the sum of only one dollar.
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History of Coca‑Cola: 1886-1892
History of Coca‑Cola: 1893-1904
History of Coca‑Cola: 1905-1918
History of Coca‑Cola: 1919-1940
History of Coca‑Cola: 1941-1959
History of Coca‑Cola: 1960-1981
History of Coca‑Cola: 1982-1989
History of Coca‑Cola: 1990-1999
History of Coca‑Cola: 2000-Now