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:
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 www.3centa.com
3 CENTA bottle courtesy www.3centa.com
Henry Clay's 3 CENTA poster.
Henry Clay's 5 CENTA bottle.
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