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Homes of Dr Pepper – 2nd Avenue

April 11, 2014

Exhibit title logo for the Homes of Dr Pepper exhibt at the Dr Pepper MuseumAs I mentioned before, we are going to be posting a few tidbits of fun information that we discovered while doing research for our most recent exhibit – Homes of Dr Pepper. The following quotes come from the Dr Pepper Bottlers Manual, 1933. At this time, Dr Pepper headquarters were located on 2nd Avenue in Dallas while the building the company had built in Waco as the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company was operating strictly as a bottling plant for Dr Pepper. This book covered everything a Dr Pepper bottler needed to know to be a successful bottler. Lots of great information on the growth of the company during the late 1920s, what the Dr Pepper Company did to ensure that their syrup production was of the best quality, and what bottlers needed to do to ensure they were bottling the best product.

“Dr. Pepper grew from a single bottling plant operation developed by the parent company. This plant is located at Waco, Texas, and serves a territory of approximately 237,000. As far as we know, it has an unbroken earning record for 35 continuous years. During the past six years, after providing for Federal taxes, it has averaged $37,000 net income per year.”

Drink a Bite to Eat Ad from 1927“The present management took charge in 1925…Two years were spent setting the house in order for a new and more ambitious effort….When the stage was properly set in May 1927, the first advertising was released. It featured the energy value of Dr. Pepper. The thought was neatly summed up in a single sentence: “Drink a Bite to Eat At 10, 2, and 4 o’clock.” The first campaign was relatively small. Posters and newspapers were used Waco, Dallas, and Houston. The response was immediate. The sales gain for the year was spectacular. The whole industry became interested. Franchise applications from bottlers came unsolicited…From this point forward, progress was rapid. By the end of 1928, Texas was well covered with successful bottlers and syrup sales had increased nearly 600% over 1926. In rapid succession, during 1929, 1930, 1931, and 1932, distribution and bottling connections were extended into state after state. Today practically the solid South and parts of many adjoining states, a market of more than 40,000,000 people, is being served.”

Dr Pepper's location at 429 2nd Avenue in Dallas

Dallas company headquarters on 2nd Avenue

“By 1929, the growing demand for syrup made additional capacity a necessity. A new factory was built and equipped at Dallas. By 1931, expansion East of the Mississippi River demanded a factory closer to that market. A second modern plant was built at Birmingham. Both of these plants are considered models in their field and provide capacity to supply the growing demand of territories served for many years to come.”



Dr Pepper's syrup manufacturing facility in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama syrup manufacturing facility for Dr Pepper

“Both the Dallas and Birmingham Dr. Pepper syrup factories are conceded to be the last word in efficiency and quality control. This is important to every Dr. Pepper bottler, since the precise flavor, purity and quality of the finished bottled product is primarily dependent upon the same qualities in the syrup.”

“Every step of the syrup manufacturing process; from the making of simple syrup (using specifically refined, pure-cane sugar and distilled water) to the mixing of purest flavor ingredients and the sealing in barrels, kegs, or jugs, is carried on with precision, accuracy and care. Every step of every process is guarded by the scientific eye and test-tube of our own laboratory.”

A map showing distribution of Dr Pepper syrup from the Dallas and Birmingham plants in the 1930s“A sample of every batch of syrup is tested for uniformity and exact density. These samples are kept for future reference…This system of test records permits positive check-up on any barrel, keg or jug of syrup, should one, at any time, be reported “off” flavor. It is a safeguard, which we rigidly maintain, though we have never had this occur. The same exacting control is practiced at the Birmingham plant.”


The bottling line at Dr. Pepper's facility at  429 Second Avenue in Dallas, Texas“There is no beverage quite so deliciously flavored, so delicate and distinctive in taste as Dr. Pepper when properly bottled…The requisites of a GOOD Dr. Pepper are as follows:
1. Suitable water.
2. One ounce of syrup to each bottle.
3. Carbonation of 3.5 volumes of carbon dioxide gas.
4. Filling point on bottles regulated to two inches from the top of the bottle at which point Dr. Pepper bottles contain 6 1/2 ounces.
5. Sanitary conditions which assure a product free from bacteria, yeast, or mold.”


The Dr Pepper Museum is located at 300 S. 5th Street in downtown Waco.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday from Noon until 5:00 PM, last ticket sold at 4:15.  For more information, visit us on the web at To purchase your own
Dr Pepper memorabilia, visit the Museum’s online gift shop.

Homes of Dr Pepper – The AMBC

February 26, 2014

Exhibit title logo for the Homes of Dr Pepper exhibt at the Dr Pepper MuseumLast week at the museum, we opened a new exhibit, The Homes of Dr Pepper.  This exhibition takes you on a historic journey to each one of these Homes of Dr Pepper. During its history, the company has been headquartered in SEVEN different locations in Texas starting with its cradle at the Old Corner Drugstore to an art deco icon in Dallas and grand corporate castle on Legacy Drive in Plano. As with most of our exhibits, we found so much more information about all these great places than what we could possibly share with you in one exhibit. So over the next few months, we’ll share some of it with you on our blog. Today we are starting not with its first home, the Old Corner Drugstore, but with its second home, the site built by the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company in 1906, which is now our home, the Dr Pepper Museum.

With Wade Morrison as president, the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company was formed to bottle and sell Dr Pepper and other soft drinks. After surveying several areas around Waco, property at the corner of 5th Street and Mary Avenue was purchased in 1905 and Milton Scott, a popular local architect, was brought on to design the state-of-the-art building that opened in 1906. The new facility housed bottling production, offices, and laboratories for the production of Dr Pepper and several other soft drinks including Circle A Ginger Ale. The Southern Carbonator and Bottler in September 1906 included an article on the facility along with floor plans. Here is the building’s description from then:

Floor plan for the first floor of the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building that was designed by Milton Scott“The building is 130 feet long and 50 feet wide, and consists of three stories, basement and boiler room. The boiler-room contains the boiler, engine and refrigerating machinery and electric dynamo. The basement is designed for the storage of heavy supplies, and is reached from the first floor by a stairway and basement elevator. The first story contains rooms for the clerical force, consisting of a private office, general office, toilet–room, lobby for the advertising room, and printing presses. The rear part of the first story is the bottling room proper, and contains machinery used in bottling.”

The floor plan for the second floor of the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company that was designed by Milton Scott“The second story contains the working laboratory, private laboratory, and free clinical laboratory for physicians and apparatus and store-room.

The third story contains the distilling plant and sugar storage. A large power elevator carries supplies from the first story to the third.

The floor plan for the third floor of the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company that was designed by Milton Scott.The basement, first floor and boiler-room have cement floors; the other floors are of slow-burning construction, and are made waterproof. A private spur connects with six different railroads.

There is a wharf on each side of the building, extending the full length, which provides ample facilities for the handling of freight.

The building is heated with waste steam and lighted by electricity from an electric plant installed in the building.

Ad from the 1906 Baylor Roundup for the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company

An advertisement for the AMBC showcasing their new modern building from the 1906 Baylor Roundup. Image courtesy Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.

The exterior of the building is of buff pressed brick, with stone trimming and red tile roof. The style of the building, in general, is Romanesque and was designed by Milton W. Scott, architect, Waco, Texas, with the view to making a model bottling establishment, and especially to be in keeping with the vim, vigor and vitality of Dr. Pepper and the snap and sparkle of Zu Zu Ginger Ale.

One feature is the gold and silver dome, which is quite an ‘eye catcher,’ and serves to fix the identity of the building with strangers. A special feature is a fine shower bath for the employees, a perfect sanitary arrangement everywhere in the building and on the grounds.”

Thanks to Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections for letting us showcase the fabulous AMBC ad from the 1906 Baylor Roundup. You can check out the other interesting items that they have by visiting


The Dr Pepper Museum is located at 300 S. 5th Street in downtown Waco. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday from Noon until 5:00 PM, last ticket sold at 4:15. For more information, visit us on the web at To purchase your own
Dr Pepper memorabilia, visit the Museum’s online gift shop.

Tasting the Sweetness

February 4, 2014

So we have decided to try something new around here this year. Because we are all about soft drinks here at the Dr Pepper Museum (Check out our mission statement.), we have decided to spend a few minutes each month trying out different soft drinks that we haven’t had before. Quite a few of us got in on the action:
Staff getting ready to taste some new soft drinksJack, our Executive Director
Jennie, Director of Administration
Gabe, Exhibits Manager
Krista, Communications Coordinator
Charlie, Research and IT Coordinator
Bill, Director of the W. W. “Foots” Free Enterprise Institute
Jessica, Programs Manager
Margaret, Interpretation Associate
and myself – Joy, Associate Director.

So for our first round, we tried two different sodas from a brand I ran across at HEB last week. Here is the rundown of the brand:

4 pack carton of Dewberry soda and The Ultimate Caramel Cola along with our rating sheet.What: Boots Beverages, distributed by Kristen Distributing Co
From: Bellville, Texas
Purchased at: HEB, Waco, Texas
Flavors we tried: Dewberry Soda and The Ultimate Caramel Cola
Other Flavors: Coconut Cream Soda, Sarsaparilla Root Beer, Picture Show Red Hot Soda
Production Start Date: September 2013

Interesting Facts:
The drinks are inspired by flavors popular in the 1950s.
Kristen Distributing Company has been a family run business since the 1930s.  It was originally known as Bellville Bottling Works.
Each flavor of Boots Beverage line is dedicated to a member of Kristen family that worked for the company in the 1950s. The line is itself is named for the current CEO’s father who went by the nickname Boots.  The photograph on the packaging for the Dewberry flavor is actually current CEO Mark Kristin as a child in the 1950s.
The soft drinks are naturally flavored and sweetened with cane sugar.
You can learn more about Boots Beverage line here.

Jessica is gettin ready to have her first sipSo what did we rate during our tasting? Smell, effervescence, flavor and overall appeal of the drinks. I thought that with as many people as we had participating that we would have a wide range of opinions, but we didn’t. Dewberry was the preferred drink.

Dewberry Soda
Dewberry wasn’t a flavor that many of us had come across before. The image on the package made us think of blackberries, but we all agreed that definitely wasn’t the flavor of the drink. We did discover that dewberries are native to the Texas area and that Cameron, Texas even has a festival devoted to this delicious berry. The smell and flavor of this drink kept reminding us of Jolly Ranchers, or Jell-O, or even popsicles. I even thought it was combo of grapes and berries.3.1 soft drink bottle rating for Dewberry Soda

Overall we thought Dewberry was somewhat refreshing with a mild smell and had a good bubbly mouth feel. We did wish that the berry flavor had a little more to it because the flavor seemed to disappear after a few sips. Overall score, 3.1 soft drink bottles out of 5.

My favorite comment from our staff – Jell-O without having to wait an hour – YUM!

The Ultimate Caramel Cola
I picked this out of the product line up for us to try because I thought it sounded interesting. I could see caramel and cola being a good combination. The smell and flavor kept reminding us of pancakes and caramel popcorn, but we thought the cola seemed a bit lacking. Because the tart taste of cola was muted, the drink seemed overly sweet at times.2.1 soft drink bottle rating for The Ultimate Caramel Cola

Overall, the mouth feel was smooth instead of bubbly. There was a suggestion of an aftertaste that wasn’t the most pleasant. The word medicinal was even used by one person. Overall, 2.1 soft drink bottles out of 5.

My favorite comment from our staff – It leaves me wanting pancakes!  (I’m in favor of that!)

Now we’ll take our empty bottles back to Charlie so that these two soft drinks will be permanently preserved in our collection because we are all about the collection and preservation of items related to the soft drink industry - the other part of our mission.

Has anyone had these new soft drinks before?  What did you think?


The Dr Pepper Museum is located at 300 S. 5th Street in downtown Waco.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday from Noon until 5:00 PM, last ticket sold at 4:15.  For more information, visit us on the web at To purchase your own
Dr Pepper memorabilia, visit the Museum’s online gift shop.

The Slimming Effects

January 8, 2014

Drink a Lot and Watch Your Weight, Sugar Free Dr Pepper adSo we have come back around to January again and now it’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions.  I’m sure that at the top of several lists is losing weight.  We naturally turn to no-calorie or low-calorie options to help us in our efforts.  The soft drink industry has quite a few options for the calorie conscious, so what is the skinny on all those diet drinks?

Artificial sweeteners have been around since the early 1900s but it wasn’t until after World War II that their usage really took off.  Artificial sweeteners have faced their ups and downs over the past 50 years since being approved for food use.

The soft drink industry was quick to pick up on the idea of dieting.  They realized they had the opportunity to fill a new niche that had been created in the consumer market.  In 1958, Royal Crown introduced Diet Rite, the first major nationally marketed diet soft drink.  Consumers loved it.  By 1964, more than 2 dozen diet drinks were fighting for their attention.  Diet Rite, Tab, Dietetic Dr Pepper, and Patio Diet Cola led the field.

The Very First Diet

Diet Rite adIntroduced by The Royal Crown Company, Diet Rite was the first diet beverage developed nationally by the soft drink industry.  Marketed for diabetics and people who could not consume large amounts of sugar, product testing began in 1958.  The response was overwhelming!

By 1963 Diet Rite was the 4th best-selling soft drink in the country. Competitors began to flood the market, and by 1964, two dozen diet products emerged.  Still, Diet Rite remained the most popular diet cola while Tab and Diet Pepsi closed in on the second spot.

Diet Rite was revolutionary; it had no calories, sodium, or caffeine, which made it perfect for RC’s more health-conscious soda consumers.  In March 2000, Diet Rite became the first diet cola to be sweetened with SPLENDA brand sweetener.  Today Diet Rite is available in cola, white grape, tangerine, black cherry, cherry cola, and red raspberry flavors.

RC continued its tradition of excellence by also producing the first caffeine-free diet cola known as RC 100 and the first diet cherry cola known as Diet Cherry RC.  Since the spin-off of Diet Rite and its flavor line into a separate brand, RC has developed its own diet drink known as Diet RC.

The Slim Pepper

An ad for Dietetic Dr Pepper describing the taste as the "same delightful flavor" as regular Dr PepperIn 1963 a low calorie version of Dr Pepper was introduced as Dietetic Dr Pepper.  Due to confusion about the name, sales were dragging. People believed the drink was meant for diabetics.  Three years after the introduction of Dietetic Dr Pepper the drink was renamed Diet Dr Pepper.  The name changed once more to Sugar Free Dr Pepper in 1971, but went back to Diet Dr Pepper in 1986 after research showed that increasingly health conscious Americans preferred drinks labeled diet.  In 1987 the formula was changed to use 100% aspartame Sugar Free Dr Pepperbecause consumers preferred the flavor. The formula was changed again in 1991 to make it taste more like regular Dr Pepper. Multiple varieties of Diet Dr Pepper have been produced through the years, including Cherry Vanilla, Berries and Cream, and Cherry Chocolate.  It’s also available caffeine-free!

Bottles of 7UP TEN, Dr Pepper TEN, Sunkist TEN, RC Cola TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TENIn 2011 Dr Pepper introduced a new low calorie version called Dr Pepper TEN.  Developed to appeal to the male segment of the population who refused to drink Diet Dr Pepper because it was too girly, Dr Pepper eventually created TEN versions of 7UP, Sunkist, A&W, Canada Dry and RC.

Liking Diet

President of The Seven-Up Company during the 1960s, Hamblett C. Grigg (son of the inventor of 7UP) originally resisted creating a a diet version of 7UP. Intense pressure from the marketplace soon changed his mind, and in 1963 a diet version of 7UP was developed. The company proposed several different names for the new beverage, such as Datt, Skip, and Dis, before finally deciding on Like. The name was a throwback to an early 7UP slogan “You Like It, It Likes You.”  In 1970 the company changed the formula and renamed the beverage Diet 7UP. Similar to Diet Dr Pepper, the soda’s name was changed again in 1973 to Sugar Free 7UP, but switched back to the old name, Diet 7UP, in 1979.  In 1987 a new flavor, Diet Cherry 7UP, was introduced.  An alternate health-conscious option, 7UP Plus, was created in 2004. This low-carb beverage was sweetened with SPLENDA and contained 5% apple juice; the drink is no longer in production.

Big (Red) Developments

the logo for Big Red ZEROIntroduced in 1976, Diet Big Red was Big Red Inc.’s first foray into the diet market. While originally sweetened with saccharin, the company switched to NutraSweet in 1985 citing customers’ preference for a better product with no aftertaste. After a round of taste tests, in 2003 Diet Big Red made another edit to the formula, switching sweeteners to sucralose.  The sucralose version not only tasted the most like the original Big Red, it also improved its shelf life.

In 2011, the company noticed that Diet Big Red’s sales were declining at a time when people were becoming more conscious of their calorie intake.  The Research and Development department of Big Red, Inc developed 30 different variations of the diet drink. Taste tests were run in Big Red’s core markets of San Antonio, Texas and Louisville, Kentucky.  During the tests, one new version repeatedly scored the highest. In 2012 it was launched as the company’s new no-calorie option, Big Red ZERO.  Sweetened with a blend of 3 different sweetners – sucralose, Ace-K, and aspartame, its new sleek black packaging has broad appeal to diet drinkers.


The Dr Pepper Museum is located at 300 S. 5th Street in downtown Waco. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday from Noon until 5:00 PM, last ticket sold at 4:15. For more information, visit us on the web at To purchase your own
Dr Pepper memorabilia, visit the Museum’s online gift shop.

Happy Holidays!

December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Free Enterprise is Alive and Well

September 10, 2013

W. W. " Foots" Clements Free Enterprise Institute in red, white, and blueBack in May the Museum got a new employee – Bill Flynt. He’s heading up the W. W. “Foots” Clements Free Enterprise Institute here at the Museum. In this blog post, he will update you about some pretty nifty things we’ve got going on with the Institute.

Hi there, I’m Bill Flynt, the new Director of the W. W. “Foots” Clements Free Enterprise Institute at the Dr Pepper Museum. What you may not know is that Free Enterprise Education has always been at the heart of our institution as part of our Free Enterprise Institute. From the very beginning, the aim has been to not only collect and display soft drink artifacts, but also to use industry as a model to demonstrate the power of our economic system.

Over the years, a series of free enterprise programs were developed with the help of our friends at Baylor. If you haven’t tried our flagship program, “Advertising and Marketing: Kid’s Style” (AMKS) , here is what it is all about. It takes students from marketing with a town crier in the days of yesteryear through today’s hand held devices, taste testing and an explanation of supply and demand, topped off with an exercise in creating their own soft drink and figuring out how to bring it to market. This extensive program takes about five hours to complete and we always reward the classes with a refreshing Dr Pepper float.

kids about to taste their own soft drink that they had just mixedIf your students can’t take five hours to do the whole AMKS program, we offer the final section, “Create a Soft Drink” in a two hour class. This has been our most requested program through the years. We also offer a “Biz Smart” program that focuses attention on the ethics of business and helps students relate to what type of business they could start now based on their age and abilities.

Since the legislative session two years ago, the funds available to public schools have been tight and many districts don’t have the resources to transport students to the museum for our programs. To help offset the situation, we have created a trunk program we call “Classroom in a Cooler”. It is designed so that teachers can take it to their classroom and have fresh curriculum to offer without bussing the kids to the museum. We are just launching this new program and are looking forward to the feedback and the possible expansion into a full blown outreach program in the schools.

I am excited about our offerings and want every student to have the opportunity to participate in these programs. Over the summer we spent a lot of time revamping, modernizing and improving the curriculum. How about one of those special deals you see so often in retail? Managers Special!! If you book a tour during September, (even if it is for later in the year) we will discount the standard fee per person by $2.00. That saves 20% on the AMKS program and 33% on Create a Soft Drink and you don’t even need a coupon.

To book a program, (10 to 30 people please) contact Jessica at 254-757-1024 X 129 or She can make all the arrangements for you to experience these interesting programs. If you have any comments or would like to see something particular in the way of Free Enterprise Education, please call me at 254-757-1034 X 153.

While the original programs were designed for students from third to sixth grade, people of all ages have enjoyed them and learned more about our basic economic system. By the fall of 2014, we intend to have a whole new program of curriculum ready aimed at Middle School students and by the fall of 2015 a new High School curriculum is due to be unveiled. We want to be the premier source for free enterprise education. I will keep you up to date on new developments as they happen.


The Dr Pepper Museum is located at 300 S. 5th Street in downtown Waco. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday from Noon until 5:00 PM, last ticket sold at 4:15. For more information, visit us on the web at To purchase your own
Dr Pepper memorabilia, visit the Museum’s online gift shop.


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