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The Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola: An Entertaining History Including Collectibles, Coke Lore, and Calendar Girls [Paperback]

Gyvel Young-Witzel , Michael Witzel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 15 2006
A bubbling history of the world's favorite soda pop---Coca-Cola! First created in 1886 as a "brain tonic" by Atlanta druggist John Styth Pemberton, Coca-Cola has become famous around the globe!

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Review

Australia Country Collections, No. 55, Vol 10, no. 4, Fall 2007

“An entertaining history, including collectibles, Coke Lore and Calendar Girls … It offers valuable information for collectors.”

About the Author

Gyvel Young-Witzel and Micharl Karl Witzel are the authors of numerous pioneering books on American pop culture, including Gas Stations Across America, The American motel, The American Diner, The American Gas Station, Cruisin’: Car Culture in America, The American Drive-In, Route 66, and Soda Pop! They live in Wimberley, Texas, just outside Austin.

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola will delight all those who would like to know the origins of the world's favorite soft drink and see many delightful early examples of advertising and promotional materials. One of my favorite museums with a commercial focus is the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta. I was prepared to be disappointed with this book, assuming that it would have less material that I found at the museum. Instead, I found The Sparking Story of Coca-Cola to be much more detailed, easier to follow and with higher quality graphics than in the museum.
The people who will be disappointed in this book are those who want to follow Coca-Cola's progress in detail from 1935 on. The book is a little sketchy for the last 68 years, but wonderfully detailed before that.
The historical side of the book captures the development of carbonated soft drinks in drug stores from medicinal mineral waters and then connects how the formula for Coca-Cola emerged. Anyone who has wanted to understand about the cocaine and caffeine in the original formula will probably have their thirst for knowledge slaked. There also plenty of educated guesses about what the rest of the ingredients are now.
The book goes on to explain the transition into distributing the syrup around the country, bottling and supermarket distribution. I found all of these explanations to be thorough, without being dense, and interesting without trying to be cute.
The illustrations are what really made the book for me. In Coca-Cola's earliest days, the company was a pioneer in mass advertising. Although a fountain glass of Coca-Cola only cost five cents, that was a lot of money when the product first came out. With a sure instinct, the advertising portrayed attractive, healthy upper class young women with the product.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola Jan. 7 2003
Format:Hardcover
I recieved this wonderful book as a Christmas gift. What an enjoyable read! Full of enjoyable tidbits that every Cokeaholic would love to know. From the history of Soda Fountain beginnings to the pop culture icon Coca-Cola has become. The Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola covers it all. A visual feast of historic photographs and illustrations accompany the well written text.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than a Visit to the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta Aug. 4 2003
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola will delight all those who would like to know the origins of the world's favorite soft drink and see many delightful early examples of advertising and promotional materials. One of my favorite museums with a commercial focus is the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta. I was prepared to be disappointed with this book, assuming that it would have less material that I found at the museum. Instead, I found The Sparking Story of Coca-Cola to be much more detailed, easier to follow and with higher quality graphics than in the museum.
The people who will be disappointed in this book are those who want to follow Coca-Cola's progress in detail from 1935 on. The book is a little sketchy for the last 68 years, but wonderfully detailed before that.
The historical side of the book captures the development of carbonated soft drinks in drug stores from medicinal mineral waters and then connects how the formula for Coca-Cola emerged. Anyone who has wanted to understand about the cocaine and caffeine in the original formula will probably have their thirst for knowledge slaked. There also plenty of educated guesses about what the rest of the ingredients are now.
The book goes on to explain the transition into distributing the syrup around the country, bottling and supermarket distribution. I found all of these explanations to be thorough, without being dense, and interesting without trying to be cute.
The illustrations are what really made the book for me. In Coca-Cola's earliest days, the company was a pioneer in mass advertising. Although a fountain glass of Coca-Cola only cost five cents, that was a lot of money when the product first came out. With a sure instinct, the advertising portrayed attractive, healthy upper class young women with the product. These images appeared on trays, calendars and hand-outs. The quality of the reproductions is very fine. You can then see how these illustrations gravitated towards women celebrities and eventually towards ordinary looking young women. During times of trouble, boys were included.
I also enjoyed the discussions of how Coca-Cola handled the challenges of sugar shortages and the Depression while maintaining its quality image and integrity.
While many books about a product like Coca-Cola would ignore all competitors, this one has some material on the early soft drink makers like Hires for root beer and Schweppes. There's also some material on the challenge of Pepsi-Cola beginning in the 1930s. These references enriched the book for me.
Those who are looking for an explanation of the Roberto Goizueta era at Coca-Cola will find little information, except for a discussion of the introduction of the failed new Coke. Bottling development and international expansion similarly lack much information beyond the initiation of both activities.
So, as you can see, this is more than a coffee table book . . . and less than a complete history. It's just right for those who want to know more about one of their favorite beverages and enjoy the nostalgia of seeing interesting memorabilia from an earlier time.
After you finish this book, think about other symbols that you relate to that once had a slightly "fast" image. Is that same image involved now? Is the change good or bad from your perspective?
When you are in Atlanta, all those who enjoyed this book will probably also enjoy the museum there . . . especially tasting the flavors of Coca-Cola products from around the world.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola Jan. 7 2003
By Joyce Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I recieved this wonderful book as a Christmas gift. What an enjoyable read! Full of enjoyable tidbits that every Cokeaholic would love to know. From the history of Soda Fountain beginnings to the pop culture icon Coca-Cola has become. The Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola covers it all. A visual feast of historic photographs and illustrations accompany the well written text.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and great pictures March 12 2014
By J. A. Belotti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My title should about cover it. I really enjoy the pictures in this book. Every time I start reading, I end up just flipping through all the pages checking out the photos. Nice hardcover book at a great price I may add....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect.... Jan. 22 2014
By EmJill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Gave this as a gift to an avid Coca-Cola collector who loves vintage Coke items...she loved it....especially loved the vintage ads....
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Dec 13 2013
By karen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a gift to a Coca Cola collector. Hoping she will enjoy it as much as I had picking it out for her.
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