Did You Know?


The very first bottle of Dr Pepper was sold in America on the 12th January, 1885.

The very first bottle of Dr Pepper was sold in America on the 12th January, 1885.
The very first bottle of Dr Pepper was sold in America on the 12th January, 1885.

According to the US Patent Office, the beverage known as Dr Pepper, which was born in Waco, was sold for the very first time on 12th January 1885, making it the oldest major soft-drink brand in the United States.

The name "Dr. Pepper" was first used commercially in 1885. It was introduced nationally in the United States at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition as a new kind of soda pop, made with 23 flavors. Its introduction in 1885 preceded the introduction of Coca-Cola by one year.

It was formulated by Brooklyn-born pharmacist Charles Alderton in Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas. To test his new drink, he first offered it to store owner Wade Morrison, who also found it to his liking. Patrons at Morrison's soda fountain soon learned of Alderton's new drink and began ordering a "Waco"  Alderton gave the formula to Morrison, who named it Dr. Pepper (later stylized as "Dr Pepper").

Early advertisements for this soft drink made medical claims, stating that it "aids digestion and restores vim, vigor, and vitality."

As with Coca-Cola, the formula for Dr Pepper is a trade secret, and allegedly the recipe is kept as two halves in safe deposit boxes in two separate Dallas banks A persistent rumor since the 1930s is that the drink contains prune juice, but the official Dr Pepper FAQ refutes this with "Dr Pepper is a unique blend of natural and artificial flavors; it does not contain prune juice." The origin of the rumor is unknown; some believe it was started by a deliveryman for a competitor trying to cast aspersions based on prune juice's laxative effects, but it may simply be because many people feel that Dr Pepper tastes similar to prune juice.

In 2009, an old ledger book filled with formulas and recipes was discovered by Bill Waters while shopping at antiques stores in the Texas Panhandle. Several sheets and letterheads hinted it had come from the W.B. Morrison & Co. Old Corner Drug Store (the same store where Dr Pepper was first served in 1885) and faded letters on the book's cover spelled out "Castles Formulas". John Castles was a partner of Morrison's for a time and worked at that location as early as 1880. One recipe in the book titled "Dr Peppers Pepsin Bitters" was of particular interest, and some speculated it could be an early recipe for Dr Pepper. However, Keurig Dr Pepper insists it is not the formula for Dr Pepper, but is instead a medicinal recipe for a digestive aid. The book was put up for auction in May 2009, but no one purchased it.


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