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. . . in 1997, Coca-Cola introduced a new can in Terre Haute, IN and four test markets.  It was supposed to have the look and feel of the Hobble Skirt bottle.  They even produced special 6 pack wraps with open corners so consumers could see the cans.  It didn't work out, because the can had to be 1/4 of an inch taller than the regular 12 oz. can and even with modifications, got stuck in the vending machines....

Click to Play Lights Out! #71, 'Uninhabited', from Dec 22, 1937

Lights Out! #71, 'Uninhabited', from Dec 22, 1937



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Coca-Cola was blessed with some of the most gifted, influential, and revolutionary illustrators in the advertising world. The likes of Gil Elvgren, Coby Whitmore, Al Buell, Andrew Loomis, Ben Stahl, Robert Skemp, Robert Bensing, and the legendary Haddon Sundblom provided Coca-Cola with an unprecendented stable of talent to generate Coca-Cola's image and message.

Coca-Cola's Calendar Girls were as amply endowed with wholesomeness as they were with natural American pulchritude. This would be a highly persuasive combination in and of itself. Indeed, it had become the practice between the 1920's and 1930's, especially, to produce pinup calendars for all manner of businesses to promote their particular service or commodity. The raw natrual appeal of these illustrations virtually assured that any calendar containing them would be displayed for a year at a time -- either prominently or furtively, as the nature of the viewer's workplace might dictate, providing a constant conscious and subconscious reminder of the calendar's advertiser.

But this type of illustration was not simply destined for calendars. Weekly magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Redbook, and Harper's Weekly provided 20 to 30 of this type of illustration art in the ads contained within their pages. Illustration Art rose to a level of acceptability and popularity never seen previously, and a talented, contemporary illustrator of the day could make a very comfortable living working for such magazines, or ad agencies or department stores.

Voluptuous, comely, red-cheeked, brunette females had long been a tradition in Coca-Cola's promotional campaigns, often using the same illustration over and over and over again in various media, and on various objects. The turn of the century was still a time when communication was mostly localized, so that Coca-Cola could utilize one illustration several different ways in any number of local markets -- and even in national campaigns -- without fear of that illustration becoming 'dated' for months or even years in some instances.


Hilda Clark Actress circa 1903
Hilda Clark Actress circa 1903
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Lillian Nordica Opera Star circa1905
Lillian Nordica Opera Star circa1905
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circa 1908
circa 1908


circa 1908
circa 1908


circa 1908
circa 1908
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''Betty'' circa 1914''Betty'' circa 1914
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December 1928 Calendar girl





''Gibson Girl'' circa 1908
''Gibson Girl'' circa 1908




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Circa 1958

Circa 1958
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Marion Davies circa1919


Coca-Cola's 50th Anniversary Bathing Beauties circa 1936
Coca-Cola's 50th Anniversary Bathing Beauties circa 1936

Thru 50 Years the pause that refreshes
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circa 1924
circa 1924
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circa 1932
circa 1932
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'Flapper Girl" c. 1926


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