The vision for the Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia began with the Morris Family’s love of local history as well as Coca-Cola history. After purchasing the property in February of 2014, the Morris family had the property completely restored. On June 25th, 2016, the museum opened its doors for the first time to the public.
What used to be the home of the Cedartown Coca-Cola Bottling Company now houses a comprehensive collection of memorabilia showcasing the history of the world’s most recognizable brand.
The Morris family restored the old Coke plant in an effort to preserve an integral part of the history of Cedartown and of small towns across America. The museum uses Coca-Cola advertising to educate visitors about the brand’s history, which is also the history of marketing strategies, entrepreneurial-ship, and most broadly the last 130 years of America.
The museum’s goal is to use advertising and the story of Coca-Cola to educate visitors on American history through the unique lens of marketing strategies. There is a story attached to every item in the museum and visitors can learn a lot about the American consumer over the past 130 years by viewing the mediums of advertising through which The Coca-Cola Company sought to connect with certain consumers. Whether it be the company’s extensive use of “Free Drink” coupons in the late 1880’s and 1890’s, the image of men returning home from war on the 1919 calendar, or James Brown on a 1970’s poster, all these advertising pieces reveal the values and sentiments of consumers in their respective time periods. By understanding the values of people throughout history, it is easier to empathize with the behavior that led to major historical events (e.g. surviving the Great Depression, protesting the Vietnam War, fighting for Civil Rights).
In the future, the museum will continue to grow its collection of Coca-Cola artifacts in order to build more authentic displays and reveal a wider view of the history surrounding certain advertisements. Additionally, our staff will rotate new displays in and out periodically with fresh acquisitions and on occasion loaned items from The Coca-Cola Company Archives.
If you share our interest in historical preservation and scholarship, a visit to the Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia will be a great experience for you.
The Morris Family, June 2016.