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Thread: Unopened Christmas Coke, 1923

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Default Unopened Christmas Coke, 1923

    I have this old bottle of Coca Cola from my grandfather (it was given to me when he died, when I was twelve). It has "Dec 25, 1923" in the glass.

    I've been trying to find info about its value, but everything I've seen refers to empty bottles. The bottle I have still has the coke inside. So I have some dim hopes that this thing's worth something. But:

    On this site I found info about how some reproductions of the 1923 "Christmas Coke" were produced more recently:
    Can tell it's a reproduction because "89 1 14" (where "89" stands for 1989) with a boat anchor symbol (stands for Anchor Hocking, who manufactured this commemorative bottle in 1989 for Coke) is embossed along the inward indention of the hobbleskirt.
    I don't think my bottle has this - what is the "inward indentation of the hobbleskirt"?
    Oh no, the cap has this on it: "Coca Cola Bottling Co. Salt Lake City 84110". Does that mean mine is a 1984 reproduction? There is also a crown symbol (see last photo below), which I fear is probably the equivalent of the anchor mentioned in the quote above.

    I tried to find info about an SLC reproduction in 1984, but I couldn't find anything - it doesn't help that 84110 is a zipcode there.

    One more strange thing - it says "Durham NC" (North Carolina) on the bottom.

    I don't suppose we have any Coke collectors here who know anything?

    1923 coke bottle

    Christmas Coke 1923

    1923 coke bottle cap

    1923 coke bottle bottom Durham NC

    1923 coke bottle crown print
    Last edited by riverrat; 07-01-2010 at 09:51 AM.

  2. #2

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    Unfortunately, a great source of Coca Cola info who lived here in Nanaimo died a few years ago. He would have known. A world traveller, he had bottles and cans of unopened Coke from all over the world. Friends who travelled added to the collection. I have no idea what happened to the collection when he died, since he had no surviving family west of Ontario.

    But I know this much: Coca Cola was developed and first sold in the southern US. It's a debatable point among southerners whether "sweet tea" (iced tea to us) or "Co-Cola" (they know you're an outsider if you say "Coca Cola"--it's OK if you're a Canadian, but God help you in some places if you're a "Yankee") is the "house wine of the South".

    But having "Durham NC" on the bottle might be an indication that your unopened bottle is the real deal.

    Useless trivia : When I was a kid, an oldtimer told me that back in the days when cocaine (or coca, or whatever, but it's illegal now) really was part of the Coca Cola recipe, horse-drawn wagons used to come around schools on the last day of school in June, handing out free bottles to the kids. Get them drinking it in the hot weather, get them started young, create a market. And even when I was a kid, long after the recipe changed, nobody I knew had parents who'd let them drink Coke below some certain age, maybe thirteen? It was a "grown up" drink. These days, some parents would be overjoyed if their kid hadn't had a beer or three before thirteen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Does your bottle have a cap with Coca-cola Classic on it, as the pic with the bottle cap shows? If so, Coke Classic came out in 1985.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola

  4. #4

    Default Ps

    Wiki or google to find the year they took cocaine out of the Coca-Cola recipe, because I notice the ingredients are listed on the cap of the bottle you have. (Unless they concealed the fact that cocaine was in Coke even when it was legal, or they called it something else.) If this is a genuine unopened 1923 bottle, it may or may not actually have a tiny splash of cocaine in it, although I don't see it listed among the ingredients, but the Coca Cola Company may have chosen just to leave mention of cocaine out. I'm surprised they even listed ingredients, because the recipe was supposed to be totally secret. Off the top of my head, I think it might have been in the 1920s when they took cocaine out of Coke.

    eBay is a tremendous source of information for just about anything that's collectible. From my time in the States, I discovered that about one out of every four Americans seem to make a hobby out of collecting something, and there are sections on eBay where these folks buy and sell.

    Laws in those days were a heck of a lot more free and easy than they are now. Example: even when I was a kid there was a product called "Lydia Pinkham's something-or-other for Ladies." Might have been "elixir". And the stuff came in a clear glass bottle and was about the same colour as Pepto-Bismol (spelling?) is. Until the laws changed, that stuff was loaded with liquid opium. So was the original "gripe water" that mothers gave to babies, I was told.

    Discovered the "wonderfulness" (hahaha--sarcasm!) of liquid opium in the 1970s when I got hauled into NRGH with gastroenteritis. When they shipped me off home, they gave me a bottle from the hospital pharmacy (as in "Here--take this home with you.") It was a liquid and I took it for about three days, and kept on doing things like walking into walls, even stepped in the kitty litter box one day. I peeled off the label that NRGH had slapped on it, and underneath was the manufacturer's label. It contained liquid opium. Yikes! Stoned for three days! I gave it to a friend who "might be interested" and I didn't want to know what happened to it after that. There must have been about 1 1/2 "old fashioned" cups of the stuff left.

  5. #5
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    Looks like yours is probably a reproduction. Check this site out

    http://www.antique-bottles.net/forum...-185413/tm.htm


    and here

    http://www.antiquebottles.com/coke/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    It is a reproduction and is best served cold.

  7. #7

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    As noted, "Classic" was intro'd back in the 80's therefore could not be a 1923 bottle. It was at this time they intro'd "New Coke" which was foul tasting and subsequently scrapped. It was horrible to say the least.

    Coca Cola "Classic" outsold "New Coke" something like 100 to 1 and for good reason: "Classic" is the real thing.

    I went to Atlanta many times and on one of my adventures, found myself only two or three blocks from the main Coca Cola plant. It was worth the trip and tour.

    Much like Budweiser plants, they offer a tour and during which, I learned many things about my favorite drink, one of which is that cocaine was never used in Coke. It is a misconception of the "coac" name. It refers to the coca plant which was a favorite item used in "snake oils" of the 1800's and thought at the time to have medicinal value. { Coca cola was originally formulated to be another cure-all snake oil, but tasted too great}.

    Also like Budweiser tours, at the end of the tour, you are brought to a tasting/sampling room where you can, free of charge, taste each and every Coke product made. What you will not find, however, is "New Coke".

    Your bottle is most likely a 1984 made replica, but a replica for sure. Keep it capped and save it. It is reflective of a past and current product under a different name. Maybe not now, but one day, it will have some value. Or, if you decide to part company with it, please contact me. I am one of the "one in four" Americans that collect things. Joe Camel, Coca Cola and old Mopar stuff among the list.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by zedex View Post
    As noted, "Classic" was intro'd back in the 80's therefore could not be a 1923 bottle. It was at this time they intro'd "New Coke" which was foul tasting and subsequently scrapped. It was horrible to say the least.

    Coca Cola "Classic" outsold "New Coke" something like 100 to 1 and for good reason: "Classic" is the real thing.

    I went to Atlanta many times and on one of my adventures, found myself only two or three blocks from the main Coca Cola plant. It was worth the trip and tour.

    Much like Budweiser plants, they offer a tour and during which, I learned many things about my favorite drink, one of which is that cocaine was never used in Coke. It is a misconception of the "coac" name. It refers to the coca plant which was a favorite item used in "snake oils" of the 1800's and thought at the time to have medicinal value. { Coca cola was originally formulated to be another cure-all snake oil, but tasted too great}.

    Also like Budweiser tours, at the end of the tour, you are brought to a tasting/sampling room where you can, free of charge, taste each and every Coke product made. What you will not find, however, is "New Coke".

    Your bottle is most likely a 1984 made replica, but a replica for sure. Keep it capped and save it. It is reflective of a past and current product under a different name. Maybe not now, but one day, it will have some value. Or, if you decide to part company with it, please contact me. I am one of the "one in four" Americans that collect things. Joe Camel, Coca Cola and old Mopar stuff among the list.
    "As noted, "Classic" was intro'd back in the 80's therefore could not be a 1923 bottle. It was at this time they intro'd "New Coke" which was foul tasting and subsequently scrapped. It was horrible to say the least."

    I remember that when they tried to introduce the "New Coke" a TV channel, CTV maybe, had a "hot line" set up where viewers could phone in and join the effort to dump it and bring back the "Classic Coke". I knew I was being suckered in a way, because it cost something like fifty cents on top of the long distance charge to vote, but I did. Only time I've ever done something like that.

    'I am one of the "one in four" Americans that collect things. Joe Camel, Coca Cola and old Mopar stuff among the list.'

    I hope I didn't offend you by saying that Americans tend to collect things. I certainly didn't mean to. But it was something I noticed while I was living in Seattle. One friend collected Fiesta Ware, a brand of American-made plates, cups, jugs, etc. Another collected old Texaco vintage promotional items. Once spent half a hour waiting while he "sweet talked" a lady in a back country gas station into selling him a three-dimensional cardboard replica of a Texaco station that was sitting on the top of a set of shelves in the gas station.

    While I was in the US, I noticed that it reallly is true that we Canadians do say "eh" a lot. At least I do, because American friends pointed it out to me. I guess every country has its little quirks, habits, characteristics, eh?

    The Coca Cola Company was technically right in saying that actual cocaine wasn't added to the recipe, but coca was. Check this: www.snopes.com/cokelore/cocaine.asp

    I'm not wanting to get all picky about this, eh?

  9. #9

    Default Coke and kids

    when I was young it was normal and acceptable to see parents drunk or drinking. the 5 of the siblings in my familly heard that if we has cola and an aspirin we too could get Drunk.

    Funny it was hard to get at the aspirins though in my house. You needed to proove you were in agony.

    One night when my parents were having an evening from the liquer store we mnaged to convince them that all four of us were ill.

    We got an aspirin each and we had all gone to the corner store earlier in the day with our pop bottles (this sufficed for allowance back then) and bought a bottle of coke.

    We had the aspirin and the coke together and did we ever have fun being "drunk".

    This seems so silly today. We were not in fact under any influence but we got As for imaginatin I think.

    It was one of the funniest nights of my life, so maybe next time I wil do that instead of a beer. What a strange familly we were.
    (pic) Keep warm, and winter well.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kickidee View Post
    when I was young it was normal and acceptable to see parents drunk or drinking. the 5 of the siblings in my familly heard that if we has cola and an aspirin we too could get Drunk.

    Funny it was hard to get at the aspirins though in my house. You needed to proove you were in agony.

    One night when my parents were having an evening from the liquer store we mnaged to convince them that all four of us were ill.

    We got an aspirin each and we had all gone to the corner store earlier in the day with our pop bottles (this sufficed for allowance back then) and bought a bottle of coke.

    We had the aspirin and the coke together and did we ever have fun being "drunk".

    This seems so silly today. We were not in fact under any influence but we got As for imaginatin I think.

    It was one of the funniest nights of my life, so maybe next time I wil do that instead of a beer. What a strange familly we were.
    I remember the old belief that Coke and an aspirin would make you drunk or something. Never tried it until I was an adult, had a headache, took an aspirin and washed it down with Coke. And then I remembered. Yeesh, I was ready to dial 9-1-1 if I had to. Nothing.

    My parents basically only drank on "special occasions" like Christmas and New Year's. If they went to some social event my mother would drink gin, and was famous for having a "hollow leg." One night, on a bet, she drank the local pharmacist under the table. I was up late reading when they arrived home, and I swear she sure didn't look or act drunk, as far as I could see. No hangover the next morning, either. But my parents were laughing their heads off. The pharmacist's wife wouldn't speak to my mother for a couple of years--as if my mother cared anyway.

    My high school biology teacher, an Italian gent, had a working "still". They lived a couple of blocks from us, a couple of times a year he'd phone my father, who'd walk down there, because he knew he wouldn't be "legal" to drive back. But obviously this stuff packed a real wallop. My Dad, who'd maybe had two glasses of this joy juice would arrive back home with bright red circles on his cheeks and in a very good mood. Everyone in town, including the old BC Provincial Police and later the RCMP knew that the biology teacher had a still, totally illegal, but no one ever did anything about it. Wonder if he paid his way through university booting to fellow students? Maybe.

    On the other hand, even 'tho both my parents had good jobs (my Mom was the only woman in town I knew who worked, except women who had to because they were widows or were divorced and not getting any child support--"A baby sitter in the summer while I'm at work? She's eight, she doesn't need a baby sitter" so during the summer, I was on my own), I was the only kid in town who didn't have ice skates or roller skates, or a trike or later a bike, or a sled, or pretty well anything like that. They wouldn't even buy me a Slinky. So on my fortieth birthday I bought myself one. It's never too late to have a happy childhood, I figure.

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