Coca-Cola is marking its milestone 125th anniversary by re-launching its first ever glass bottle, The Hutchinson, as created in 1899. Celebrating its history and iconic product design, the limited edition Hutchinson will be available at Selfridges alongside an exclusive collection of heritage bottles inspired by the brand’s 125 year history.

The collectible limited edition Hutchinson bottle and heritage range will appeal to Coca-Cola fans and collectors as they showcase the innovation of the original glass bottle through the decades, including the now famous iconic design classic, the Coca-Cola Contour bottle.

Single boxed Hutchinson bottles will be available exclusively at Selfridges London, Selfridges Birmingham, Selfridges Manchester Trafford and online at www.selfridges.com for £1.99 each. The four bottles (The Hutchinson, The Straight Sided, The Prototype and the famous Coca-Cola Contour classic heritage bottle) will be sold as a set, housed in a wooden collectors’ case for £39.99 from 9 May 2011.

These bottles are to commemorate what has become an iconic design classic. The collectors’ case beautifully showcases the original glass bottle that has provided inspiration to celebrated designers over the years and harks back to when bottles were first used to serve Coca-Cola in seven US states at the turn of the last century – when the bottles appeared remarkably different to those today.

The Hutchinson Bottle

The earliest bottle dates back to 1899, when bottling first began in Chattanooga Tennessee. The iconic script that still exists today appeared in script lettering on the striking bottle shape.

The Straight Sided

With the advent of the crown cap system, straight sided bottles became an instant hit and a better way to deliver the product. From around the start of the 20th Century, the bottle was launched with the Coca-Cola trademark embossed in the glass. The new bottles were typically clear or brown glass and a diamond shaped label was introduced after 1907 to better identify the product.

The Prototype

Innovator Alexander Samuelson, a Swedish glass blower, changed the future of Coca-Cola bottling via a competition to redesign the shape of the bottle in 1914. The bottle design had to be so distinctive, it could be recognised in the dark! Samuelson, who worked for the Root Glass Company, and his colleagues, designed the prototype for the famous Coca-Cola Contour bottle, based on a coca pod. Patented in 1915, the prototype was never actually used in production however the basis for the design classic was born.

The Famous Contour Coca-Cola Bottle

While the original prototype developed would not work with the bottling equipment, the classic Coca-Cola Contour bottle basic shape was retained and put into production in 1916. Celebrated around the world as an innovation classic the Coca-Cola Contour bottle is now considered one of the most recognised consumer packages in the world. Evoking feelings of nostalgia from childhood to holidays through to popular culture, the Coca-Cola Contour bottle has remained the same for 95 years.

Since its introduction the Contour glass bottle has become part of modern life and has been used as a blank canvas for designers such as Matthew Williamson and Manolo Blahnik. Legendary artist Peter Blake created “Summer on the Coke side of Life”, a stunning piece of pop art using Coca-Cola bottles and Andy Warhol also immortalised the bottles in his famous “Green Coca-Cola Bottles” creation.

“The unique curve of the bottle has become instantly recognised as a design classic. The shape and feel has ensured its place in history. The secret formula hasn’t changed since the birth of the drink 125 years ago, while the famous Coca-Cola Contour bottle has become a design classic.” Says Ted Ryan, Manager Archives Collections in Atlanta.