Item:1915 Coca Cola Contour Prototype Bottle (1 of 2 KNOWN))
Auction: Juliens Live “Icons & Idols Rock-N-Roll & Sports”
Lot Number:Lot 1009 of 1708
Date of Sale:January 03, 2011
Description By: Juliens Live
A contour Coca-Cola prototype bottle designed by Earl R. Dean. In 1915, when most beverages were packaged in generic, straight-sided bottles, bottlers worried that Coca-Cola was easily confused with imitators. Benjamin Thomas, co-founder of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, came up with a solution. He stated, “We need a bottle which a person can recognize as a Coca-Cola bottle when he feels it in the dark.”
In response, Coca-Cola launched a competition among bottle suppliers to come up with a distinctive design. During the 1916 Bottlers Convention, and among several other design entries, Dean’s contour design would be voted the winner. The prototype never made it to production since its middle diameter was larger than its base, making it unstable on conveyor belts.
Dean resolved this issue by making the necessary alterations needed for the design to go into production. The contour bottle was so successful that it became the standard for the Coca-Cola brand. It was also the first bottle design to be granted trademark status by the United States Patent Office. The only other known example of this bottle is owned by the Coca-Cola Company. Bottle reads “Coca-Cola/ Trademark Registered.” Additional embossing of Coca-Cola can be found on the bottom of the bottle. 7 1/2 inches PROVENANCE From the Estate of Earl R. Dean