Antique Bottle Collectors Haven Archie Huffstetler showing his 5 CENTA

3 & 5 CENTA Soda Bottles

3 CENTA was started in 1935 in Athens, GA by Joseph Costa, who also rant the Bludwine Bottling Company. The Gastonia 3 Centa Co. was owned by the Carson family started in 1936. 3 CENTA was a popular, but short-lived, soda bottle produced around 1935-41. While Coke and Pepsi were selling their bottles for 5 cents, 3 CENTA was undercutting that price to push their soda. They competed successfully at first, then introduced the 12 oz 5 CENTA bottle in 1942. People stopped buying it because they would rather have a Coke or Pepsi instead of a flavored soda. The 5 CENTA bottle is blamed for driving the business under. The 5 CENTA bottles are rare.
Above history info courtesy of Henry Clay.

Most 3 CENTA bottles are green tinted with a plain base. Some are clear, which are harder to find than the green tint.

Some 3 CENTA bottles had a city on the base. Here's a list of cities, listed from most common to rarest:

3 CENTA bottles were also produced in Macon GA and Gaffney SC, but those city names were never put on the bottles. None of the 5 CENTA bottles had a city on the base. Info on cities courtesy of Archie Huffstetler. Picture at top right is Archie holding a 5 CENTA bottle.

The typical 3 CENTA bottle in undamaged condition sells in the $5-10 range, so they are an affordable category to collect. The rarer bottles are more valuable.
Questions on a 3 or 5 CENTA: click here.

Some pics of 3 and 5 CENTA bottles, along with some advertising:

3 CENTA sign courtesy

3 CENTA bottle courtesy
Click to see close-up
Henry Clay's 3 CENTA poster.
Click to see close-up
Henry Clay's 5 CENTA bottle.

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