SLIDESHOW: Coca-Cola auction raises money for charity - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW: Coca-Cola auction raises money for charity

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- An auction of Coca-Cola memorabilia will include a 19th Century soda fountain, the side of a barn from the 1930s, and plenty of posters, banners, serving trays, and toys.

It's all part of the Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia in Elizabethtown, which will hold the auction on March 24 and 25.  Proceeds to go a charitable foundation the Schmidt family is organizing.

The museum's first auction back in September brought in more than $3 million, with several pieces going for more than $100,000 apiece. 

"A big difference between the first auction and the second is that the next will have several marque items that appeal to more than just Coke collectors," says Larry Schmidt, head of the family-owned museum. 

The centerpiece of the auction is a soda fountain made for the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exhibition.  It's one of the largest items in the museum.

"This is a piece of history that goes beyond Coke memorabilia," says Schmidt.  "It could attract potential buyers from around the world."  The assessed value of the soda fountain is between $75,000 and $125,000. 

The Schmidt family's connection to Coca-Cola goes back to 1901 when Frederick Schmidt became one of the first Coke bottlers in the country when he opened a Louisville plant.  The family has been collecting Coke memorabilia for nearly 40 years.  Now the family intends to close the museum and sell everything, with the money going to charity.

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