Is this the best-known bottle in the world? Coca-Cola bottles are displayed during a preview of the High Museum's new exhibit, "The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100" (AP photos)
Is this the best-known bottle in the world?
Lexile

A curvy drink bottle is celebrating its 100th birthday.

An art museum is exploring the origins and influence of a bottle design that's so recognizable, you'd know the brand if you held it in the dark.

"The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100" is set to run at Atlanta's High Museum through Oct. 4. Visitors can see original design illustrations, a prototype of the 1915 design and the work of artists who have been inspired by the now-classic design.

The soft drink company is headquartered in Atlanta.

"It really is a design success story," said Julia Forbes, High's head of museum interpretation. She pointed out that the bottle design has been around for more than 100 years and is recognizable around the world.

The exhibition walks visitors through the history of the design. The bottle's shape was conceived as a way to distinguish the product from a multitude of imitators.

In a 1915 memo, the company asked glass companies to come up with "a bottle which a person could recognize even if they felt it in the dark, and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was."

The Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Indiana, developed the winning design. It was in "Georgia Green" glass with a bulge in the center and ridges down the sides. The exhibition includes a concept sketch and patent for the contour bottle design. Both date from 1915. An original prototype bottle from 1915, one of only two known to exist, is also on display.

An entire gallery in the exhibition is devoted to the artist Andy Warhol. On one wall are two paintings of single Coca-Cola bottles inspired by old ads. One is a bit abstract with smudgy lines. The other has with lines so crisp and clean it doesn't even look like a painting. These works from 1961 and 1962 came at the beginning of Warhol's Pop art style that used commercial images.

The exhibition concludes with a gallery of photos from the mid-1930s through the present. In some, the photographer is clearly using a Coca-Cola bottle or logo as art. In others, the bottle and logo just happen to be present.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the High and Coca-Cola. It kicks off a year-long celebration of the instantly recognizable bottle that will include advertisements highlighting its design in more than 140 countries.

Critical thinking challenge: The Coca-Cola Company is older than the Coca-Cola bottle. Why?

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COMMENTS (2)
  • galilenc-
    9/21/2015 - 01:09 p.m.

    because the drink was made and stored into another bottle/can .then afterwards they changed up where they put the drink which is the new coca cola bottle.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    4/18/2016 - 07:34 p.m.

    The glass Coca-Cola bottle is really famous. Many people use it and can know what it is even if they feel it in the dark. It is one hundred years old and is celebrating its "birthday." It is being exhibited in a museum. There are many photos of it from the mid-nineteen thirties and it is also being displayed. It has a bulge in the center and ridges on the side.
    I think that the Coca-Cola company is older than the Coca-Cola bottle because the design of the bottle might be new and the company might not have had the bottle back then.

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