10 Facts You Didn't Know About Coca-Cola Slideshow
Coke is the world’s most widely distributed product, and is sold in more than 200 countries — that’s more countries than there are in the United Nations.
The inventor, John Pemberton, is said to have relied heavily on cola wine because he was a morphine addict. At the time, many Civil War veterans were said to have developed morphine addictions to manage pain; in the meantime, Pemberton turned to morphine, and later, coca to relieve his illnesses and pain.
The first celebrity endorsements for Coca-Cola (different from the "Coca-Cola girls," who appeared in the annual calendar), were singer Hilda Clark and opera star Lillian Nordica.
Coca-Cola positioned itself as a soldier’s drink during World War II. Although the company took a hit during World War I, because of sugar rations, the company took far less of a hit during World War II, largely in part to its war efforts. Soldiers were said to depend on Coca-Cola heavily during wartime, as a pick-me-up; said one base surgeon, "I cannot conceive of a greater calamity worse than a loss of the base supply of Coca-Cola." In 1942, Coca-Cola was exempt from sugar rationing when sold to the military and bases; while other soda drink companies took hits up to 50 percent, Coca-Cola remained strong in the market.
Coca-Cola essentially shaped the Santa Claus we know today, thanks to its ads. Pre-Coca-Cola ads that appeared in the 1930s, the depictions of Santa Claus showed Santa as a tall and "gaunt" man usually dressed in blue, green, or yellow. Then, Swedish-American artist Haddon Sundblom drew a fat, jolly man wearing Coca-Cola red and drinking — well, what else? — and forever changed what Santa looked like. Some say this was Coca-Cola’s first attempt to market to children, albeit subtly. Need something to go with that Coke? Here's our list of the 101 best burgers in America.