Earl R. Dean

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Earl R. Dean.
The 1915 contour bottle prototype designed by Earl R. Dean.

Earl R. Dean (March 19, 1890 – January 8, 1972)[1] designed the famous contour Coca-Cola bottle.[2]

In 1914, Harold Hirsch, a lawyer for the Coca-Cola Company, came up with a plan[3] to launch a national competition in which bottle manufactures across the country would be asked to design a distinctive bottle – a bottle which a person could recognize even if they felt it in the dark, and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was.[4]

The bottle manufacturer that won this competition was the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana. Inspired by a picture of a cocoa pod which was found in an encyclopedia at the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library, Earl R. Dean made a pencil sketch of the pod.[5] From this sketch, Dean designed the contour bottle prototype. The prototype never made it to production since its middle diameter was larger than its base. According to Dean, this would make it unstable on the conveyor belts. Dean then equalized the middle and bottom diameters and the Contour Coca-Cola Bottle was born.[6]


  1. ^ "Inventory: Earl R. Dean Collection". Vigo County Public Library. Retrieved 2016-12-18. 
  2. ^ "ANNIVERSARY OF AN ICON". The Coca-Cola Company. Archived from the original on 2006-11-24. Retrieved 2007-04-02. Earl R. Dean of the Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Indiana, created the first prototype of the contour bottle. The prototype was patented in Samuelson's name on November 16, 1915. 
  3. ^ Pendergrast, Mark (2000). For God, Country and Coca-Cola. Basic Books. p. 103. ISBN 0-465-05468-4. 
  4. ^ Lindstrom, Milton (2005). BRAND SENSE: Build Powerful Brands Through Touch, Taste, Smell and Sound. Simon and Schuster. pp. 39–40. ISBN 0-7432-6784-2. 
  5. ^ "Biography". Vigo County Public Library website. Vigo County Public Library. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "Coca-Cola Contour Bottle". Vigo County Historical Society On-Line History. Vigo County Historical Society. Retrieved 8 December 2008. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]