The Bottle

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Dean was offered a choice between a five-hundred-dollar bonus and the guarantee of a lifetime job at Root Glass. He chose the job and kept it until Owens-Illinois took over Root in the thirties; after that, he went on to work in other Midwestern glass factories.

Earl Dean’s beautiful bottle was only one link in a chain of golden corporate decisions that made Coca-Cola into a soft-drink giant. Today, despite greater sales of Coke in cans, plastic, and larger glass bottles, fifty glass plants in the United States continue to produce the 6.5-ounce bottle. In 1985 alone, more than 292 million of them were sold. That graceful little contour bottle, created during a hot Indiana summer some seventy years ago, is still the perfect package for a cold drink—a true classic.