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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Of Dr Pepper and Dublin

I drink Diet Coke, but there was a time in my life, like most native Texans, when nothing but Dr Pepper would pass these lips. My great-uncle owned a grocery store…a small one on the town square with wood floors and a big green metal soft drink cooler with sliding doors on the top. I remember going in on sweltering summer days in the 1950s and 1960s, grabbing the familiar “10, 2 and 4” bottle, popping the cap and taking a long swig of that cold, delicious concoction.

I also remember my grandmother’s big kitchen clock--a Dr Pepper advertising model that she undoubtedly received from her grocer brother.

Dr Pepper originated in 1885 at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas. It is the oldest of the major brand soft drinks in America. Charles Alderton, a young pharmacist working at Morrison's store, is believed to be the inventor of the now famous drink.

Patrons at Morrison's soda fountain soon learned of Alderton's new drink and began ordering it by asking him to shoot them a "Waco." Morrison is credited with naming the drink "Dr. Pepper,” but the period was dropped in the 1950s.

Just 100 miles away from Waco is tiny Dublin, Texas, home to the oldest Dr Pepper bottling plant in the world. And while the little Dublin franchise is one of beverage giant Dr Pepper Snapple Group's smallest, it's consistently ranked near the top in per capita sales. In fact, Texas-based upscale Central Market grocery store can't keep up with demand...even at $8 a six-pack.

The reason: the Dublin plant has returned to making Dr Pepper the old-fashioned way, with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup and selling it in special retro-styled bottles, proving that what’s old really can be new again.

From and

Old Dr Pepper bottle

Vintage Dr Pepper vending machine

Dr Pepper delivery truck

Dr Pepper advertising clock

Dublin Dr Pepper

Update: 1/12/2012 - As a result of a lawsuit with the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Dublin Dr Pepper will no longer be bottled at the Dublin plant. Jeers to the Dr Pepper Snapple Group for destroying another piece of history.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I wonder if we can find the original here? I did notice some Coca Cola products were doing the same thing, replacing hfcs with sugar. I do love an ice cold Dr Pepper! Your great Uncle's store sounded great. We just saw the last of those stores close in our little town. I loved the smell of the old wooden floors. Sad to see them all disappear.