Winona Bottling Company in Minnesota was the last factory that still produced Coca-Cola in glass bottles. The decades long practice came to an end on Tuesday. Although the classic style glass Coke bottles amounted for only a small portion of overall sales, the iconic soda pop container provoked nostalgic memories in many fans of the popular soft drink.
Just before noon on October 9, the last 6.5-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola rolled off the assembly line. The final glass container was auctioned off by John Kohner for $2,000, according to Bill Hemmer’s report on Fox News. Viking Coca-Cola of St. Cloud President, Michael Faber, proudly held his monumental purchase and noted that he planned to retire on the proceeds from the little glass bottle one day, the Winona Daily News notes.
Coke fans eager to own a piece of company history will get the chance next week when the company begins selling the 5,879 remaining bottles for $20 each. The proceeds from the Coca-Cola memorabilia sale will be used to resurface the town’s walking and bike paths.
The Winona Bottling Company has been filling glass Coke bottles with the sweet soda pop since the business first opened in 1932. Coca-Cola’s chief archivist, Phil Mooney, called the final bottle run the concluding chapter to a long story.
The first glass bottle of Coke was sold at an Atlanta drugstore soda fountain in 1886. The soft drink was strictly sold to customers at soda fountain counters until 1894. Vicksburg, Mississippi Coke wholesaler, Ollie Biedenharn, mused about the possibility of folks in other parts of the country getting the pleasure of drinking an ice cold Coke if the syrupy liquid could be delivered in bottles. The first bottle of Coke was bottled along the banks of the Mississippi River, as was the last, according to Biedenharn descendent, Randy Mayo.
The Coca-Cola bottle sprang forth from a 1915 design competition won by the Root Glass Company of Indiana. In 1995, the bottles of Coke began being manufactured in 10, 12, and 26-ounce family size returnable bottles. Americans were first able to buy their favorite soda pop in cans in 1960.