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Swedish documentary filmmaker to visit Streator

Coca-Cola bottle designer resided in city

The original Coca-Cola bottle patent was submitted by Alexander Samuelson of the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Ind., in 1915. A documentarian from Sweden will come to Streator on Saturday to research Samuelson's life in Streator.
The original Coca-Cola bottle patent was submitted by Alexander Samuelson of the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Ind., in 1915. A documentarian from Sweden will come to Streator on Saturday to research Samuelson's life in Streator.

Streator is attracting some international attention.

Anders Lundin, a documentarian from Sweden, will visit the city Saturday to research the inventor of the Coca-Cola bottle.

Lundin is making a documentary on Alexander Samuelson, who Lundin discovered lived in Streator for a time.

“He worked in the glass industry in Streator they believe,” said City Councilman Ed Brozak.

Brozak said Lundin reached out to the city several months ago and was interested in researching more about Samuelson’s time in Streator, as well as visiting the home where he stayed.

Lundin will stop by the Streatorland Historical Society during his visit for some research that they have pulled aside for him.

“We looked up what we could find and where he lived,” Brozak said. “He kind of filled in some of the blank spaces as he knew all about the guy.”

Samuelsson’s story

Samuelson was born in Sweden before emigrating to the United States, according to the Coca-Cola Company website.

Samuelson was the shop foreman at the Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Ind. when the company entered a Coca-Cola bottle design contest.

The company wanted a bottle design that was “so distinct that you would recognize it by feel in the dark, or lying broken on the ground.”

Samuelson had two members of his team go to the public library for ideas when they came across an illustration of a cocoa pod on a cocoa plant. The team designed a bottle that mimicked the elongated shape and distinct ribs of the pod. A patent application was filed out with Samuelson’s name on the document.

The bottle has since served as an iconic symbol for the company and a 100-year anniversary of the design was celebrated in Sweden in 2015.

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