National Geographic : 1969 Feb
In any language, Coca-Cola stands for the world's most famous soft drink. In 1886 an Atlanta druggist invented the formula; now 39 plants around the world produce the con centrate, minus one top-secret ingredient, 7-X, which comes only from the Atlanta head quarters. To ensure uniform taste, Coke bottled for Germans, Arabs, Thais, Mexicans, and Japanese here undergoes tests by technician Florence Page. and a few other things to produce a syrup called Coca-Cola. In the first year of production, Pemberton sold 25 gallons of the syrup, much of it mixed in a three-legged pot in his back yard. By 1891 another Atlanta druggist, Asa G. Candler, had acquired full ownership of Coca-Cola, and the syrup began to flow. And flow and flow, until today more than 95 million servings of the beverage are consumed in cups and bottles daily in 138 lands. 260 Pemberton received $50 in revenues for his first year's production of 25 gallons. In 1967 the company's annual sales first reached the billion-dollar level. Direction of this carbonated phenomenon emanates from a new 12-story building on Atlanta's North Avenue. There I saw white jacketed experts at work to preserve the unique taste of Coke (above)-a taste as fa miliar to a tinsmith in Tanzania as to a postal worker in Illinois.