Smithsonian Says Coca-Cola Invented Santa
We all know Santa Claus is real -- and Smithsonian magazine doesn't disagree -- but it claims his appearance was created by Coca-Cola.
St. Nicholas was born in the 3rd Century. For 1,500 years people have been drawing, painting, carving, sculpting and acting him.
The Smithsonian put together a gallery showing images of Santa Claus for the past 200 years. They argue each generation adds something to Santa's appearance to fit their needs.
The current vision of Santa was likely heavily influenced by Tim Allen's portrayal, but the basic look of the man, his suit, sleigh and accessories was apparently created by the Coca-Cola ad campaigns that begin in the 1930s!
Prior to then, a jolly, fat man with white hair and a big beard in a red suit with a reindeer-pulled sleigh was developed by newspaper cartoonists in the 19th century. So Coca-Cola didn't design him out of whole cloth, but they did make him the recognizable, modern Santa we see a lot of today!