Dedicated: May 24, 2003 
SPONSOR: The Descendants of Herman Henry & Louise Lundberg Biedenharn

"The First Bottling of Coca-Cola"

On a summer day in 1894, Joseph Biedenharn, a candy merchant and soda fountain operator, had an idea that would reshape the soft drink industry.  He took the popular fountain beverage, Coca-Cola, put it in bottles, and delivered it to rural areas outside of Vicksburg.

It was the first time Coca-Cola had been sold in bottles.  Mr. Biedenharn created a totally new concept of marketing the beverage and established the cornerstone of the independent network of franchise bottlers who now distribute bottled Coca-Cola all over the world.

Born in 1866, Joseph Biedenharn was the eldest of eight children and, in his teens, became part of the candy business founded by his father and uncle.  Later, he and his brothers Will, Harry, Lawrence, Herman, Ollie, Albert and sister Katy acquired franchises to bottle Coca-Cola in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

The building located at 1107 Washington Street, where the first bottling took place, was built in 1890 and is operated today as the museum interpreting this important moment in our nation's history.

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