Coca-Cola bottle festival celebrates its special ties to Terre Haute

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A small global icon has big ties to Terre Haute.

“The Coke Bottle was designed in 1915. It was designed at the Root Glass Company. It was a team of people at the Root Glass Company that answered the call for a competition to design a bottle that would be recognized by feel in the dark or broken on the ground,” said Susan Tingley of the Vigo County Historical Museum.

The design became known across the world as the Coca-Cola contour bottle.

“When Earl Dean was looking for inspiration to design the bottle, he worked for the Root Glass Company. He was looking in the encylopedia and he found a picture of a cocoa pod. Now, there’s no cocoa in coca cola, but he was inspired by the shape of that pod. That’s how you get the ridges around the coke bottle,” Tingley said.

One Terre Haute resident said she’s collected Coca-Cola bottles her entire life and she believes it will bring more attention to the city.

It means a lot because it’s a place that is on the map and people can come and experience what we experience here. It just pulls the community together,” said Nicole Hoopingarner of Terre Haute.

The city hopes the bottle’s important history will be recognized by more people.

“There are people in Terre Haute who are maybe slightly aware of it, but they’re not really recognzing what a big deal it is,” said Tingley.

Because of that, the city will hold a festival every year to celebrate the important piece of Terre Haute history.

“I think we’re making a real effort to make sure not only people locally, but visitors that come to town recognize the signficance of Terre Haute as the birthplace,” Tingley said.

The Vigo County Historical Museum will include the full history the Coke bottle its design once the museum opens.

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