Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Santa Claus and Coca-Cola

Santa by Thomas Nast in 1863St. Nicholas in Harper's Weekly: January 1863
There's a Christmas Urban Legend that says that Santa's red suit was designed by Coca-Cola and that they might even 'own' Santa!
This is definitely NOT TRUE!
Long before coke had been invented, St Nicholas had worn his Bishop's red robes. During Victorian times, he wore a range of colours (red, green, blue and brown fur) but red was always his favourite!
In January 1863, the magazine Harper's Weekly published the first illustration of St Nicholas/St Nick by Thomas Nast. In this he was wearing a 'Stars and Stripes' outfit! Over the next 20 years Thomas Nast continued to draw Santa every Christmas and his works were very popular indeed (he must have been very good friends with Santa to get such good access!).
This is when Santa really started to develop his big tummy and the style of red and white outfit he wears today. Nast designed Santa's look on some historical information about Santa and the poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas'.
Santa by Thomas Nast in 1881St. Nicholas in Harper's Weekly: January 1881

On January 1st 1881, Harper's Weekly published Nast's most famous image of Santa, complete with a big red belly, an arm full of toys and smoking a pipe!
This image of Santa became very popular, with more artists drawing Santa in his red and white costume from 1900 to 1930.
By 1931, when Coke first used Santa in their advertising, his image was well established. The first 'Coke Santa' was drawn by artist Haddon Sundblom. He took the idea of Nast's Santa but made him even more larger than life and jolly, replaced the pipe with a bottle of Coke and created the famous Coke holding Santa!
Coca-Cola also agree that the red suit was made popular by Thomas Nast not them!


Cathy McInnes said...

This is so interesting Jo-Anne! Great to know, I also really enjoyed reading the 2 posts before this one! :-)
Wishing you and you family a very Merry Christmas! :-)
Cathy@three kids and a fish

CWMartin said...

If It had been true, we'd have had a tri-colored Pepsi Claus as well.

whiteangel said...

That is interesting as I didn't know any of that.
Merry Christmas.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Thanks I learnt a few things from researching all these posts

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

So true Pepsi doesn't like to be outdone by Coke

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Me neither but know we both do know more

Blogger said...

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