"Springtime" Coke collectible event to highlight brand's strength

"Springtime in Atlanta," the nation's second largest meeting of Coke memorabilia collectors, will feature classic posters, the company's iconic contour bottle, and toy delivery trucks emblazoned with Coke's famous red script Wednesday through Saturday.

Charlotte Segovia, chairwoman of the event, said it attracts people from all over the world, including Japan, Belgium, Germany and Spain. The items sell for as little as 25 cents to $3,000.

"It's really more of a passion for collecting and not so much about business," she said. "Everyone here will tell you it starts out with one item and then you can't stop."

Segovia started in 1985 with a 1940 Westinghouse Coke machine that she spotted in an antique shop. That led to buying accessories to dress up the space the machine occupied in the kitchen, then more paraphernalia as the bug bit hard.

Phil Mooney, Coke's archivist, said he always looks forward to the meeting, even though he's searched every collector's nook and granny for Coke treasures for more than three decades.

"One of the things that always amazes me is that there will be something there that I haven't seen before," he said.

Mooney acquired more than 100 pieces of Coke memorabilia at an auction late last month at the Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia in Elizabethtown, Ky., one of the largest private collections in the country. The items included a 1942 original Coca-Cola painting and 1901 mint-condition paper poster.

The event is closed to the public except for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday where their will be a public sale of items.

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