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

Catalog Number: 2017.025.0001

Date (Years): 1914


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.


5c Everywhere—Fountains or Bottles

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