The Pepsi Generation (Darkfield)

The Pepsi Generation (Darkfield)

Do you remember when a bottle of Pepsi cost a nickel? We can't either, so we did a little research to find out the approximate date of what is undoubtedly the smallest advertising sign yet created (the silicon rendition featured above--about 750 microns wide). Pepsi-Cola was first introduced as a fountain drink in 1898, prior to the widespread use of bottled soft drinks. A few years later, Caleb Bradham began bottling Pepsi in a plant located in New Bern, North Carolina. After the great depression, advertising emphasis was shifted to low cost and high product value. In 1934, Pepsi-Cola became the first soft drink manufacturer to replace the popular six-ounce bottle with a 12 ounce bottle for a nickel. This was widely advertised in signage of the period, as illustrated with the authentic reproduction done in silicon above. We found this sign on a Hewlett-Packard CPU-support integrated circuit. The arrow, difficult to read at this magnification, contains the text: "Look for the Trade Mark", and the bottom of the label reads: "Healthful" (thank god the FDA wasn't around!) and "Refreshing".

The Hewlett-Packard integrated circuit featuring this tiny silicon rendition of a Pepsi commercial was donated to us by HP chip designer Craig Robson, who designed the artwork.

View this silicon artwork under differential interference contrast and brightfield illumination.


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