Alexander Samuelsson & The Coca-Cola Bottle

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The United States is founded on immigrants. Not surprisingly, many immigrants came from Sweden.  SvD wrote a great article about the Swedish Immigrants that left an impression on the United States during the 1800 and 1900’s.

The one that stands out the most, that has an effect on not only the United States, but also the world, is the lead designer of the classic Coke-Cola bottle.

Last year Sweden celebrated the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola bottle with an exhibition in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm.

Alexander Samuelsson, was born in Surte in Västergötland county and immigrated to the United States in 1883.  He started working for the Root Glass Company not long after immigrating.

In 1915, Coca Cola held a competition to come up with a unique bottle.  They were having issues with other companies copying their product and they wanted a bottle that was so unique that “you would recognize it by feel in the dark, or lying broken on the ground.”

Alexander Samuelsson was the lead on the team in charge of designing the bottle, so his name on the patent.  The design of the Coca Cola bottle we know today came from his worker, Earl R Deans. Samuelsson sent both Deans and Clyde Edwards to the library to research what possible designs they could use.

Cocoa pod illustration
By Bernecker, A. – Naturalis, CC0,

It was at the library that they came across an illustration of a cocoa pod, which gave them the idea for the ribbing of the bottle.  Under Samuelsson, the design concept was put into production, and the rest is history.

Learn more about other Swedish immigrants that left an impression on the United States in Swedish (great time to practice Swedish!)

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The Author



Hilary lived two years in Norrland, Sweden (Northern Sweden) and fell in love with the country. She lives in Prague, Czechia and hopes to one day soon return to Sweden.