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Benjamin Franklin Thomas (1860–1914) was a Chattanooga, Tennessee businessman and industrialist who pioneered the development of the Coca-Cola bottling industry and founded the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. In 1899 Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead traveled from Chattanooga to Atlanta, Georgia to meet with Asa Griggs Candler, the owner of Coca-Cola, in hopes of securing the rights to bottle the beverage. At the time bottling Coca-Cola was seen as an untested industry, and Candler had concerns over maintaining the quality of his product. Eventually he sold the rights to bottle Coca-Cola in the United States to Thomas and Whitehead for one dollar.