Monday, November 11, 2002

This was one of the earliest puzzles in my life: half circle, full circle, half circle, A ; half circle, full circle, right angle, A. It took me a long while to figure out the answer for that.

In 1886 John Styth Pemberton, a medicine man and a heavy dopey person, mixed some cocoa nuts, leaves, caffeine and other such stuff in a bathing tub, stirred it with wooden oar and called it Coca Cola. His accountant Frank Robinson, an amateur calligraphist, worked out a logo for his friends backyard drink in just under a minute and to this day Coca Cola uses it. When the drink first came out it was more of a hangover drink rather than thirst-quencher (and rumours were that it was also an aphrodisiac). A year later its founder, in order to clear his debts, sold 2/3rd's of his invention for an exact sum of $283.29. And by 1900's the formula for Coke had changed hands two more times and by 1919 the Coca Cola brand was worth $25 million.

Obviously, as the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and hundreds of people came out with non-sensical drinks but with similar names like: Co Kola, Coke-Ola, Coke, Koke, Klu-Koo-Kola, Pepsi-Cola, Afri-cola etc... In the first 25 years of the 20th century Coke fought over 7000 cases of patent infringement and won all the cases except one of them - the case against Pepsi Cola (which was established by CD Bradham in 1898 mainly to combat dyspepsia). Pepsi went bankrupt twice in its initial years before bankers came to its rescue and at one time went on to grow bigger than Coke because of its numerous other brands - like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Coke has also had its share of face loss. It had launched Coke flavoured cigars which quite bluntly put was a disaster.

Today Coke is sold in 195 countries - in contrast to United Nations which has only 191 members, and is the second most universally understood term in English - next only to "OK". There are two things I like - one is Coke and the other is French fries. I am now doing a bit of reading on French fries history... and when I get enough info, I will post it here :-)

So... did you figure out the answer to the puzzle that I mentioned before ;-)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Clicky Web Analytics