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The Team

The development of the contour bottle was actually a team effort by four men, led and supervised by Chapman J. Root.

Chapman J. Root, founder and president of the Root Glass Company. In creating the contour bottle, C. J. Root was a hands-on participant. He gave Earl R. Dean approval and encouragement at every stage of the bottle's development. And Dean went the extra mile for Root in accomplishing this challenging assignment.

Earl R. Dean, the Root Glass Company bottle designer, was sent by C. J. Root to the library with Clyde Edwards to research what they thought were the ingredients of the Coca-Cola formula. When they come across the illustration of the cacao bean pod in the encyclopedia, Dean was inspired by a picture of the gourd-shaped cocoa pod in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Dean made a rough sketch of the pod and returned to the plant to show Root. He explained to Root how he could transform the shape of the pod into a bottle. Root gave Dean his approval.

T. Clyde Edwards, the Root Glass Company auditor, was sent with Dean to the library by C. J. Root to research the ingredients of Coca-Cola. It was Edwards who found the Illustration of the cacao bean pod in the encyclopedia the would turn out to be the inspiration for Dean's bottle design.

Alexander Samuelson, plant superintendent of the Root Glass Company, was asked to sign the 1915 prototype patent application and oath, swearing to be the one and only inventor of the contour bottle. Ironically, according to Dean, Samuelson's only contribution was made during a brainstorming session on June 28, 1915. He asked the question, "What was Coca-Cola made of?"

References: The Man Behind the Bottle, by Norman Dean, Wikipedia