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The Origins Of Your Favorite Sodas

By Edited Apr 22, 2015 0 0

Have you ever wondered about the backgrounds of your favorite soft drinks? In this article, I will tell you about the characters behind the creation of three delicious sugary delicacies. Soda is practically a worldwide tradition - the children of Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the children of the world. Still, most soft drink consumers do not know the stories behind their preferred thirst-quenchers.

I hope to correct that with this article.

The History Of Dr Pepper

Waco, Texas has a population of just under 250,000, according to Wikipedia. It is said to be the heart of Central Texas. The city is also the birthplace of one of America's oldest sodas originally named after the city of Waco - now known as Dr Pepper. (Also, please take note: the drink's prefix is spelled without a period! It is strictly Dr Pepper, not Doctor Pepper or Dr. Pepper. Any other spelling is a heinous error). 

According to Dr Pepper's website, the likely inventor of this drink is Waco pharmacist Charles Alderton. He liked serving unique sodas to his customers and enjoyed the particular scent of his workplace, eventually electing to create a soda that tasted like the smell. Alderton did not just stumble onto a successful soda immediately. He recorded numerous attempts, finally settling on a taste he was satisfied with.

Most early pharmacies had soda fountains, and the pharmacy where Alderton worked was no exception. He added his new drink to the fountain, to the delight of his customers. Word spread like furious wildfire. The owner of the pharmacy, a man named Morrison, was said to have created the name Dr Pepper, but the name's meaning and origin are lost to the dust, sadly.

The History Of 7Up

You have C. L. Grigg, of St. Louis, Missouri, to thank for this carbonated citrus drink. He had previously struck gold with the Howdy Orange soda, and felt like experimenting with sour fruit - namely, limes and lemons. 7Up's website states that Grigg spent two years finding the perfect formula - much like Alderton's concoction, it took time and care to perfect the drink. It debuted in 1929. Interestingly, the drink contained lithium, familiar to students as a chemical element and to thrill-seekers as a recreational drug.

This lemon-lime drink was a smashing hit, going far beyond the Howdy Orange success. It was shortly after named 7Up, due to its slogan boasting seven flavors. Worldwide, 7up managed to become a true bestseller. Just before 1940, Grigg decided to rename his soda company The Seven-Up Company. 

Even today, 7Up remains an absurdly popular drink.

The History Of Pepsi

Much like Dr Pepper, Pepsi was founded by a late 19th-century pharmacist. In this case, the intrepid druggist was a North Carolinian named Caleb Bradham. He briefly attended school to be a doctor, but eventually no longer had the funds; he then became a teacher for a short time, and then opened up a pharmacy. 

Like all pharmacies of the distant days, Bradham's drugstore offered more than just perscription drugs and medications. It wielded a soda fountain for thirsty customers. Like Charles Alderton, Bradham decided to try his hand at making his own soda. Pepsi's own website informs the reader that Brad's Drink, as it was called, debuted in 1893, and contained a myriad of ingredients, including kola nut extract and pepsin - where he would eventually get the new name for his drink, which you now know as Pepsi-Cola.

Bradham opened another drug store before beginning to have his liquid gold bottled. The business of Pepsi-Cola began in 1902. It rapidly expanded, and Bradham soon amassed a fortune. Sadly, the former pharmacist eventually went bankrupt, and his company was bought out.

According to Wikipedia, after his bankruptcy, he returned to being a pharmacist.




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  1. "Our History." History. 20/09/2013 <Web >
  2. "History of the Birthplace." The Pepsi Store. 20/09/2013 <Web >
  3. "History Of Dr Pepper." Dr Pepper Museum. 20/09/2013 <Web >

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