Serve up Cold and Refreshing Drinks on a Coca Cola Tray

Coca Cola introduced its first serving tray in 1897. Most of them featured a woman, so it can be an exciting way to watch women’s fashion change over time. You may also watch as the Coke trays turned from brown and other dark colors to Coke’s iconic red color, and you can find a number of different colors of old Coca Cola trays for sale on eBay.

Who made antique Coca Cola metal trays?

The first Coca Cola advertising trays were created in Coshocton, Ohio, by various companies. You can often find the name of the company producing the tray on its back. Many collectors choose to specialize in trays created by the Standard Advertising Co. as they were some of the earliest trays. Another early producer of Coca Cola tin trays was The Novelty Advertising Company, which was renamed The Novelty Company of Coshocton. Another early maker sought by collectors is Meek and Beech. By 1910, most trays were made by American Art Works.

How did women’s fashions change on old Coca Cola trays?

If you are a collector of vintage Coke trays, then you may want to start specializing in trays from a particular decade. It can be easy to identify which decade a tray was produced as most bear the image of a woman wearing period-appropriate clothes. The first Coke trays from the 1900s to 1920s showcased women wearing lacy Victorian clothes. Lillian Russell appeared on many of these trays. Women wearing flapper dresser were seen on many trays in the 1920s. In 1926, the first man appeared on a Coke tray. Females wearing bathing suits appeared on many Coke trays. Lillian Day appeared on many of these trays. Collectors often seek the tray featuring Maureen O’Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller on it. War brides were a common theme of Coke trays made during the 1940s.

Were there any vintage Coke trays made without people on them?

Yes, there were many vintage Coca Cola trays bearing images that did not contain people. During the last two decades of the classic Coke tray era that ended in 1974, several trays were made that did not include a person’s image. Starting in about 1940, many trays showed picnic scenes. During the 1950s, many of these trays showed a hand pouring Coke surrounded by a field of flowers. After this period, Coke trays were no longer made of metal, except rare ones produced as commemorative Coca Cola trays.

Characteristics of vintage Coca Cola trays

When you are looking for Coca Cola trays for sale, such as those found on eBay, there are several characteristics that antique and vintage Coke trays share. They always have a black back. The Coke logo will always have a trademark. Most will have the name of the manufacturer and the words “Made in the USA.” They may also have a date of manufacture on them.

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