Another pharmacist, Caleb Bradham from New Bern, NC, developed and marketed a cola drink as a digestive aid and energy booster. In 1898 he named it Pepsi:Cola and in 1902 he launched the Pepsi:Cola Co from the back room of his pharmacy. In 1903, he registered the
PEPSI-COLA trademark. He started bottling his drink in 1905 and began
awarding franchises, the first two in Charlotte and Durham, and by 1910 the business had expanded to 24 states and 280 bottlers. Shortly after WWI, some bad losses due to sugar prices, combined with poor marketing, forced him into
bankruptcy. He sold the trademark and business in 1923 for $35,000. The company changed hands four times by 1928 and went bankrupt again in 1931. The trademark was resurrected by Charles
Guth, owner of Loft Inc, a chain of candy stores and soda fountains along the East Coast, who tinkered with the recipe. Guth began the selling of the 12oz bottle for a nickel, twice as much soda for the same price of other soft drinks, and Pepsi became so popular that Loft Inc merged with the subsidiary to become the Pepsi-Cola Co. In the late 50s, the company began actively advertising using stars such as Joan Crawford, and in more recent years, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Michael J. Fox.
The company, which in 1965 changed its name to PepsiCo, expanded
into other beverages, such as Mountain Dew
and Lipton's Iced Tea, as well as acquiring Frito Lay's, and
ventured into the restaurant business with Taco Bell, Pizza Hut
and KFC. Now Pepsi is bottled in at least 150 countries.
Pepsi is second only to Coca-Cola in soda-pop collectibles. Unlike Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola serving trays and calendars were produced inconsistently over the years. Early examples are rare, as Pepsi-Cola Company did not consider calendars and serving trays as important advertising items. Signs produced by the company: tin, porcelain, cardboards and cutouts. Good selections of embossed, paper label, ACL and a Hutch bottle are also available. Six-pack carriers, glasses, novelty giveaways, clocks, thermometers and some great periodical advertising are just some of the many to find. Starting in the late '30s an advertising campaign starring two cartoon "cops" called "Pepsi & Pete" was featured on much of Pepsi's advertising. Today, most of the "Pepsi & Pete" stuff is among the most sought after of all. Pepsi & Pete also appeared in a regular newspaper comic strip.