Why a Coca-Cola Bottle May Be Worth $100,000

It's a bottle with a backstory.

Old Coca-Cola soda wagon. (Getty Images)
Old Coca-Cola soda wagon. (Getty Images)
UIG via Getty Images

The recipe for Coca-Cola took fine-tuning, and so did the bottle.

A lone surviving prototype for the Coke bottle, painstakingly designed more than 100 years ago, is up for auction  at Morphy Auctions in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to Atlas Obscura. The rare glass container is expected to fetch at least $100,000 when it goes up for bid later this month.

It’s a bottle with a backstory. In 1915, the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Bottling Company solicited proposals for a bottle design, “requiring all entries to include not only a description, but an actual sample bottle,” reports Atlas Obscura. There were eight submissions.

Earl R. Dean, of the Root Glass Company, was the winning entry. But his bottle still needed work — slimming and downsizing — to be compatible with the machinery that the company would use to bottle its soda.

After testing the revised bottle, all of the prototypes were destroyed — except, it turns out, for one. “The bottle is embossed with the date November 15, 1915; the test-proof design was patented the following day,” according to Atlas Obscura.  “Why just this bottle survived may forever remain a mystery of the bottling arts and sciences.”

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