I do not have any stats to back this up, but the next two weeks have to be the biggest time of the year for homemade coupons. Kids (and some adults who still live with their parents) everywhere who can’t think of what to get their parents for Christmas are busting out their glue sticks and scissors, ready to create coupons good for priceless items such as breakfast in bed, one free car was and 10 minutes of not biting their brother.
Aren’t coupons great? I’ve mentioned on this site before just how fond of coupons I am, but surprisingly, I have never looking into their history. Until today…
Wonder Why Wednesday: Who Invented Coupons?
Coupons are old.
They date back to 1887, when Atlanta businessman Asa Candler used the idea to market a little product you may have heard of before…Coca-Cola.
As a way to get the word out about his new drink, Candler created paper tickets good for a free glass of Coke. The marketing device worked. His paper tickets transformed Coca-Cola from goth to boss and the product has dominated the drink market ever since.
In 1887, a Coke cost five cents, but if you were lucky enough to have one of Candler’s hand-written coupons, you were drinking for free. And a ton of people drank for free (at least once). Between 1894 and 1913, an estimated one-in-nine Americans had received a free Coca-Cola, for a total of 8,500,000 free drinks.
It is fun to learn that the original coupons were homemade and worth five cents. Parents, remember that when you receive a Christmas gift of a homemade coupon worth about five cents. Your kids are just channeling their inner Asa Candler.
For a great story on the history of coupons, check out this Time article.
Photo credit: Wikipedia