Coca Cola’s Restoration of ‘Ghost Murals’ in Appalachia

-Lauren Steele

Times Square is known as the ‘Crossroads of the World’ and indeed tens of millions of people from around the globe visit each year—and by doing so they get a first-hand look at the most famous sign in the world—the Times Square Coca-Cola Spectacular.

But long before this iconic New York landmark first debuted in 1920, thousands of Coca-Cola wall murals decorated the fronts and sides of buildings in the downtowns of American cities, big and small—towns like Hinton, WV and hundreds of others throughout Appalachia and the rural South.

The very first Coca-Cola wall mural is believed to have been painted on the side of a drug store in Cartersville, GA in 1894. Back then, Coca-Cola was brand new and unknown, so these early advertisements were used to introduce the drink that would one day become the world’s best-selling beverage and the most recognized and beloved brand in the world.

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