Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 9, 2010

Dr Pepper

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 6:00 am

Coca Cola may be the best known soft drink in the world, but Dr Pepper is the oldest major soft drink in the world.  And I am partial to Dr Pepper.  As with Coke, it seems I have a history!

Dr Pepper was introduced in Waco, Texas in 1885.  A pharmacist, Charles Alderton, enjoyed working behind the soda counter at Morrison’s Corner Drug Store when he was not busy preparing medicine for the customers.  While behind the soda counter, he would mix various fruit syrup flavors.  And then one day, he and others shared an equal delight in his new mixture.  The owner of the drug store concurred and they began to sell the new drink.  It was not called Dr Pepper at first.  Most customers that came for the new soft drink would simply order, “Shoot me a Waco!”

There are many stories about how the new soft drink got its name.  No one seems to know for sure.  In its early  advertising there was a period after Dr, but it was soon dropped.  The trademark in the 1920s and 1930s was a country doctor with a monocle and a top hat. This was probably to reflect a new report presented as medical research. It was during this era that research discovered that the average person had a loss of energy  at about 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.  It was reported that  sugar would give that pick-up in energy.  Dr Pepper used this report to begin its well-known promotion to drink a Dr Pepper  at these hours.            

The ad to the left shows the old bottle.  You can see the clock of 10, 2, and 4 also.  And did you notice?  The drink was only 5 cents?  They also promoted “DRINK A BITE TO EAT” as a reminded that you needed some sugar intake without having to eat a regular meal. 

Now that I have given some history about Dr Pepper, I need to let you know why I feel connected to this soft drink.  It is my favorite because of taste, but it is also a reminder of past history in my life.

As an older boy, working in my Dad’s store, there were several women who came by every day.  There were some chairs for them to sit and additional seating was created by turning the tall vase-shaped bushel baskets upside down.  In the colder weather they would sit around the old pot-bellied stove.  A few of these Clarkston women would have a coke, but most of them would have a Dr Pepper.  They would have them very regularly at 10 a.m. in the morning.  Most of them would return in the afternoon.  I cannot say that they came exactly at 2 p.m. or 4 p.m., but they did come back and go through the same routine.  They came, of course, primarily to shop or just to have a social hour.  Nevertheless, it made an impression on me and the “value’ of drinking Dr Pepper!

The drinks were taken out of the ice box and the bottle cap was popped with a hand-opener.  Later, we had a refrigerated drink box that circulated cold water.  This box had a bottle opener attached.  Dad had gotten very modern!

Some years later, I formed a new friendship with Dr Pepper.  Living in Waco, Texas, the birthplace of Dr Pepper, I felt a kinship because for me that city was a new beginning.  It was as if I had experienced a birth that was changing my life.  It was in Waco that God got hold of my life, turned me around, and called me to preach.  Dr Pepper, of course, was the most popular soft drink in Waco and I would feel like a traitor if I drank anything else.  So, Dr Pepper and I became hooked on each other!

Now I am not an investor in Dr Pepper, nor do I get paid for advertising.  I just like Dr Pepper, and I just wanted to share this sentimental fondness for Dr Pepper with you.  I don’t recommend, however, three a day!  Drink more water!




  1. I like Dr. Pepper too,thank you so much for all your Love and compassion for the world. we have too little in this world we live in. God Bless.

    Comment by Darlene Chauncey — January 10, 2010 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  2. Your Grandson has the same Waco/Dr Pepper affection, or shall I say, addiction?! Love this blog!

    Comment by jjr, mo — January 11, 2010 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

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