A cold summer in Europe and competition at home have been blamed for a bad run at COCA-COLA.In 1950, though, it was the king of soft drinks and a ubiquitous ambassador for the U.S. across the globe.

In Brazil, some misguided people vow that it increases sexual prowess; others are under the delusion that it makes a man impotent ... Graceful gondolas carry it along the narrow canals of Venice, and sturdy, resigned burros tote it into the dusty Mexican hills. Bright red signs proclaim its worth beneath the blank, unastonished eyes of the great Sphinx ... The late William Allen...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!