Investigations

Coca Cola Trade Card

The Case:

A contributor in Parkersburg, West Virginia owns what seems to be an extraordinary piece of memorabilia: a pocket-sized card apparently dated 1886 advertising a strange-sounding beverage. The card depicts an image of a female model and a printed rhyming verse which begins:

One very sultry, summer day 
Through Atlanta, toiled on his way 
A lawyer, overcome with heat, 
His lips could only just repeat, 
Coco-Cola…

Trade cards were a popular vehicle for tradespersons to advertise their wares and often included entertaining poems and colorful illustrations. Could this card be a unique piece of early Coca-Cola advertising?

History Detectives heads to Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta to trace the legacy of the soft drink empire and examine its influential role in American commerce and advertising. 


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Aired:
Season 4, Episode 3

Detective:
Elyse Luray Location:
Parkersburg, West Virginia

Trade Cards

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