Dating rc cola logos
Dating rc cola logos
Few brands have been as effectively and aggressively marketed as Coca-Cola, which was invented in 1886 by John S. Almost from day one, advertising materials, including signs, were produced to trumpet the virtues of the sweet, carbonated beverage.
The first metal Coca-Cola signs were lithographed or painted.
Known as tackers, these signs were designed to be nailed directly through the metal and onto a wooden wall or fence.
Even at this early moment in the company’s history, Coca-Cola understood the power of the celebrity endorsement—by the end of the 19th century, the popular opera singer Hilda Clark was pitching the beverage on rectangular and oval signs, made out of everything from paper to metal.
By 1910 the short-lived era of large outdoor oilcloth signs had come to an end.
Because these signs wore out quickly (they were no match for the elements), they were systematically replaced by more durable, and expensive, metal ones.
Some of these large outdoor signs were similar to the tackers, but others were made of fired enamels that were baked until they created a porcelain surface on a base of iron or steel.
Eyelets at the corners and sides were built into the design, since nailing through porcelain would destroy the sign.
The first of these porcelain signs were roughly eight-by-eight feet and got right to the point: “Ice Cold Coca-Cola Sold Here,” they proclaimed.
The Coke bottle depicted on the sign was straight sided—the company’s trademark curved bottle, which resembled the contours of a hobble skirt and was nicknamed “Mae West,” was not widely used until 1920.
Some tin signs were embossed, giving the brand’s famous logo relief, while others were made of aluminum and coated in celluloid, which was less durable than porcelain but worked fine in interiors such as soda fountains and bars.
An especially popular sign from 1914 featured a model named “Betty.” This marked a shift for the company away from high-brow celebrity toward something approaching sex appeal, although the young lady’s attire and flirtatious gaze is certainly tame by 21st-century standards.
Other signs on cardboard from this period admonished customers to ask for Coca-Cola by its full name, which was an effort by the company to combat competitors trying to capitalize on the parts or even misspellings of the brand’s good name.