On this page we catch up with and diagnose the search trends on eBay from the previous week. We get our information by matching the top 20 items spiking daily in search trends from eBay itself with other topics currently being searched on outside the eBay walls.
Top Search Trends: Week ending Friday May 17, 2013
Topping our most searched list this week was a search for Coca Cola Recipe. Could it be that someone had discovered what is sure to be one the most closely held secrets on the planet, and put it up for sale on eBay? Sure enough, a little forensic work revealed this listing, now ended, for the Coca Cola Recipe – Formula – Letter January 15,1943 – Historical Document:
Of course, the immediate question that comes to mind is “Is it real?” We turned to the description on the listing, which provided this information:
“On May 8th, 1886, Dr. John Stythe Pemberton, a pharmacist and inventor of medicinal beverages, invented the world’s most famous drink – Coca Cola. Shortly after, he began selling the fountain drink in a nearby Atlanta pharmacy. Concocted in a brass kettle in his back yard, this patent medicine was billed as being able to cure anything from morphine addiction to headaches to impotence.The ingredients, their ratio and the process method of the beverage is one ofthe most closely guarded secrets in the world. To this day, it is said that only two of Coca Cola’s executives know the entire ingredients.
In 1899, Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead of Chattanooga, met with Asa Chandler, then President and owner of the Coca Cola Company. They approached him with the idea of bottling the beverage. Until then, Coca Cola was only available as a fountain drink. After much negotiations, Mr. Chandler agreed to grant bottling rights to the two gentleman, for the astronomical fee of $1.00.(He never collected the $1.00, by the way) Thus born was the world’s first Coca Cola Bottling Company, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Fast forward 100+ years later to the 21st Century – we were at an estate sale of a deceased, renown Chattanooga chemist, who at one time worked at one of the more prominent chemical companies in the area. There were masses upon masses of personal paperwork at the sale. Curious, we bought several boxes of this paperwork, which yielded some interesting finds. Among those finds is what is offered for sale here – what we believe to be the formula for Coca Cola.
Typed on January 15th, 1943, this single page (front and back) breaks down the formula into exact amounts of specific ingredients to make one gallon of concentrate, which, when combined and processed yields enough to make 16 gallons..
May we make this perfectly clear – we can never guarantee and never claim that this is the actual recipe for Coca Cola. Even if this formula was 100% accurate in every aspect– as mentioned above– there are only two people in the world that can verify it’s accuracy, and I doubt they will be willing to compromise Coca Cola to acknowledge our exactness. That is why we are selling this as a historic artifact.”
The comments ranged from disbelief to congratulations. We especially liked this back and forth:
Q: Congratulations on your great find! Just goes to show, one mans trash is another mans treasure! From one treasure hunter to another, Gleaned Treasures
A: We crawl through an awful amount of junk to find a diamond. Thanks for your interest
Olivia B. Waxman reported on this auction in a story for Time magazine, The Real Thing? Original Coca-Cola Recipe Might Be on eBay, and observed that this isn’t the first time someone may have stumbled on Coca-Cola’s big secret. She explains, “In 2011, the producers of NPR’s This American Life found a recipe in a Feb. 18, 1979, issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and published it online — producing a wave of traffic that crashed the news outlet’s website.”
It can take a long time to find that perfect hidden gem. Even though this historical document did not sell last week, we wish our sellers lots of luck in finding the perfect home for this incredible recipe. After all, if you are to believe the hype, the only other copy is locked up tight in a vault at Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Selected high-value items listed or sold on eBay this week:
Please note this a sample of high-value items on eBay. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is a representative list.
2003 Azimut 42 Bridge Cruiser – $200,000
1897 Tonk Old Hickory Men’s Bicycle – $16,600