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Title: Receipt, Central Koke Company, East Main Street, Cowart Street, 1914

Catalog Number: 2017.025.0001

Date (Years): 1914

Description:

Receipt on billhead for Central Koke Company, Office 1 East Main St., Factory 152-154-156 Cowart St., Chattanooga, Tenn. Sold to Beasley-Alston Drug Company, Louisburg, N.C., September 28, 1914. Sold 50 gallons at $1.25/gallon for total of $62.50. Billhead has Koke seal on left with patent office registration information underneath, and the Dope seal on right with patent office registration information underneath, along with claims that “Koke & Dope are non-alcoholic and have no harmful effect.” Along the left side of the billhead is a notice requesting customers to notify the Central Koke Company if a business misuses their Koke and Dope trademarks.

With the success of Coca-Cola came a score of soft drink makers jumping on the coca leaf bandwagon. The Central Koke Company was one of them. A full 153 cases of trademark infringement against Coca-Cola filed in 1916. Estimates of the number of Coca-Cola imitators were as high as 7,000. The Koke Company of America went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1920. The court ruled in favor of Coca-Cola but overturned a lower court’s decision to refrain from using the trademark, Dope. By the 1910s. the public became accustomed to calling Coca-Cola, “COKE” or even in some cases, “Dope” due to its reputation for using cocaine in their recipe.

Ironically, this 1914 receipt warns about those misusing their trademark KOKE. WOKE, and DOPE.

NOTICE: Our customers will please notify US or the INDUSTRIAL SURETY CO., of NEW YORK of any infringements on our trade-marks ‘WOKE” or “DOPE” or of anyone substituting any other beverage on calls for “KOKE” or “DOPE.” This is a violation of the Federal Laws, and we will prosecute any and all persons who thus infringe upon our rights, to the fullest extent of the law.

KOKE COMPANY OF AMERICA, J. C. MAYFIELD, President.

5c Everywhere—Fountains or Bottles

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