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The Museum

The Dr Pepper Museum is housed in the 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building located in downtown Waco.  The 100 year-old building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the “Home of Dr Pepper.”  The Museum receives the support of Dr Pepper Snapple Group and its affiliated bottlers but is not owned or operated by them.

Located at the corner of Fifth Street and Mary Avenue in the turn of the century manufacturing district, the vacant bottling plant was in a sad state of repair in a neighborhood comprised mostly of abandoned warehouses that was officially declared as “blighted” by the City.  The Waco Chamber of Commerce and the City of Waco hoped that the Museum would be a catalyst for renewed energy and growth in the area, with the potential for restaurants and shops in the old warehouses down the street similar to the “West End” district in Dallas.

Dr Pepper Company donated the historic building to the non-profit organization in 1988.  Renovation began in the summer of 1990.  The building formally opened to the public on May 11, 1991.  At that time, only a small portion of the ground level was open to the public.  During the next six years, the Museum embarked on three additional construction phases until the entire building was restored and opened in May 1997.

The Museum is home to the W. W. Clements Free Enterprise Institute.  The Institute was created in 1997 for the purpose of educating school children as well as adults about the economic system that underlies American life.  The program uses the soft drink industry as a model to teach students about developing, producing, and marketing products.  An exhibit about the life of W.W. Clements and his philosophy of life, free enterprise, and business ethics opened in 2008 on the third floor of the museum.

The Museum employs a staff of museum professionals and educators that work with the Board of Directors to fulfill the Museum’s mission.  The Museum has an annual operating budget of approximately $500,000 that it derives from contributions, memberships, admissions, and the sale of merchandise through its for profit subsidiary, DP Museum Enterprises.

The Museum has received contributions from Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the Coca Cola Company, Coca Cola Enterprises, Big Red Corporation, and numerous independent soft drink bottlers.  We are recognized as the only nonprofit museum in the country dedicated to the entire soft drink industry.  At the time it opened to the public, the Museum’s collection of artifacts totaled approximately 1,600. Today that collection includes over 100,000 artifacts.

In 2007, the Museum completed a new collections and archives storage center in the Kellum-Rotan building.  This has paved the way for the growth and consolidation of our collections and archives in one space.  Our collection is now one of the largest and best in the world. In 2008, the façade of the Kellum–Rotan Building was completely restored.  New administrative offices, education center, and boardroom will be completed in 2010.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Norman Pelley permalink
    February 19, 2014 7:47 pm

    I have a Sugar Free Dr, Pepper bottle with a Sunkist cap still has Sunkist in the bottle, does it has any value?

  2. Dick Bursley permalink
    November 10, 2015 3:46 pm

    I have a dr pepper crusin cooler, never been pluged in. Looking for info on it, if it worth anything, or a colector looking for one. Dick

  3. Christy permalink
    December 4, 2015 8:06 pm

    Sure hope someone could help me out here. I have a rectangular, framed Dr. Pepper Sign dated 6-1-1941 on back. Brown paper backing embossed circularly with -your DRUGGIST Rx personal service, along with various other embossments like, tollietries, ect. The advertisment reads-
    DRINK
    Dr.Pepper
    good for life – in a mix of cursive and print fonts
    to the left of the print is a Dr. Pepper Bottle with imprinted banner reading, good for life. At foot of bottle is clock displaying hands pointing to 10-2-4. base color of sign is yellow with accents of red, gold and black. This sign is in great condition. Paper backing completely in tack, like someone just took it off the pharmacy wall. i cant find anything out about it, not even a picture of anything close besides Mural Ads painted on sides of old buildings.
    ANYTHING? ANYONE? Thanks in Advance, Christy

  4. Carol Hammontree permalink
    December 22, 2015 10:10 pm

    My uncle, who owned an advertising agency in Dallas, was hired to produce the BC campaign with John Hart. John Hart spent time in Dallas teaching him to draw the characters for the ad and my aunt gave me a stack of the sketches when I was around 10, in the late 60’s. I just googled to see if I could find out anything about the commercials and found this site. It seems someone did some research, so thank you for the information!

    • December 22, 2015 10:15 pm

      Carol,

      How neat! This is another piece of information about that advertising campaign. Thanks for sharing. If ever you decide that another home is needed for those sketches, please let us know. Preservation is what we are all about.

  5. edh permalink
    February 24, 2016 8:28 pm

    I found an old 16oz (1 pint) 7up bottle with a crown cap, it is embossed with 7up vertically on both sides as well as the 7up logo on the neck and no deposit no return. Is there a way to determine the age of the bottle?.

  6. Michael Berry permalink
    April 22, 2016 4:58 pm

    Would anyone in the Museum be interested in Wesby Parker’s 10 2 4 silver belt buckle? The buckle has an 1885 Morgan Dollar in its center. We also have the Tony Lama Concho belt that came with the buckle.

  7. June 11, 2016 6:02 pm

    Does anyone have old photos of the Comanche Oklahoma Dr Pepper Bottling Plant that was located on Dr Pepper Rd in Comanche Ok?
    I would love to see them. When I was a kid I dig bottles from the site and cleaned them up and they are in mint condition. I’d like a photo to go along with my bottles. I was raised in Comanche but after the plant had long shut down.
    Thank you
    Lisa S

  8. Angie permalink
    December 30, 2016 10:39 pm

    Where can you find a DR Pepper Christmas Ornament?

  9. Dick Bursley permalink
    January 5, 2017 3:37 pm

    I still have the Ride On cooler that is brand new. I,m trying to find out about???? Have pictures.

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