1916 Coca-Cola Gum shipping box via: LiveAuctioneers.com
In addition to yesterday’s brand extension (Coca-Cola-Cigars), there was also a Coca-Cola chewing gum for a while. The spearmint flavored gum was manufactured by Franklin-Caro Company under contract with Coca-Cola.
The relationship between Franklin-Caro and Coca-Cola did not always run smoothly and by 1925 Coca-Cola had bought them out in order to discontinue the Coca-Cola brand chewing gum product.
(More, after the fold…)
Above is an auction lot of letters from the Schmidt Collection of Coca-Cola Memorabilia:
ASSORTED – This is a highly important group of historical letterhead. One letter dated 1916 is from Richard Gwathney, president of Franklin-Caro addressed to the Coca-Cola Company, informing them that they have been cited to appear before the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to answer charges for mis-branding Coca-Cola Gum. Another letter follows a month later in March of 1916, from Franklin-Caro to Coca-Cola. This letter is loaded with appeals and mild threats to Coca-Cola to intervene in the ongoing matter. Also in the group is a June 1916 letter from Candler, Thomson and Hirsch, attorneys in Atlanta. On the letter head appears both John S. Candler in name as well as Asa W. Candler, along with Thomson and Hirsch listed in the upper left, as attorneys and counselors of law. This letter addresses details regarding Gwathney and the Coca-Cola contract for chewing gum. It talks about the company losing money due to the expense of sales, and it also details 1912, 1913 and 1914 gross sales and profits and is quite interesting. Another letter from June 1916 from S. C. Dobbs, Vice President of the Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta to Harold Hirsch of the law firm concludes that Coke wants to buy the contract and then have Coca-Cola Gum eliminated from the market. It details Coke Gum as being a nuisance and creating friction with Mr. Candler. Evidently that never came to pass, and the final inclusion in this lot is a July 1921 emotional letter from Franklin-Caro Gum Company to all bottlers of Coca-Cola detailing current prices on the gum.