Columbus in Muscogee County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Nehi and Royal Crown Cola
In 1905, a new cola drink was originated in the basement of the wholesale grocery business at this location, where Claud A. Hatcher, a pharmacist, began formulating beverages. His concoctions included Royal Crown Ginger Ale, Cream Soda and various Melo fruit drinks. As these products gained popularity, Hatcher created Union Bottling Works and in 1911 moved the business to the corner of 10th Street and 9th Avenue. Chero Cola was introduced in 1912. By 1925 there were several hundred franchised bottlers throughout the South and Midwest.
Nehi, a line of soft drinks touted to be “Knee High” in great flavor, was introduced in 1924 and quickly grew in popularity. Royal Crown Cola was launched in 1934, becoming the flagship brand of the company. As the first to use blind taste-tests and movie star endorsers such as Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and John Wayne, RC became an American classic. RC was the first cola produced in cans and the first local company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1962 the company introduced Diet Rite, the first calorie-free cola.
Erected 2015 by Historic Columbus Foundation,
Location. 32° 27.893′ N, 84° 59.651′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Georgia, in Muscogee County. Marker is on West 10th Street east of Front Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19 West 10th Street, Columbus GA 31901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Kinfolks' Corner" (within shouting distance of this marker); W. C. Bradley and Coca-Cola (within shouting distance of this marker); Pemberton’s Drugstores, 1857-69 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fit for Man and Beast (about 400 feet away); Columbus Symphony Orchestra (about 400 feet away); Garrett and Sons / Cargill-Wright Company (about 700 feet away); Dr. Thomas H. Brewer (about 700 feet away); Lummus Cotton Gins (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
Regarding Nehi and Royal Crown Cola. When Chero-Cola added Nehi to its soda line in 1924, the company produced numerous fruit-flavored sodas, including grape, orange and peach. These Nehi offerings became so successful that they outsold beverages in the Chero-Cola line completely, so the company changed its name in 1928 to reflect this new focus on the winning product.
Company founder and president Claud A. Hatcher died on New Years Eve of 1933, leaving the Nehi Corporation in the hands of Vice President H.R. Mott, who inherited a large amount of debt. The ambitious Mott updated operations, cut expenses and sought credit extensions, taking the company out of debt within one year of his takeover. When RC Cola became the bestselling product offered by the company in 1955, the Nehi Corporation changed its name to the Royal Crown company. In April 2008, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group purchased the Nehi cola brand.
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on Nehi. (Submitted on February 5, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • 20th Century • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 5, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 5, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 210 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 5, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.