Dr Pepper Company is the oldest major manufacturer of soft drink concentrates and syrups in the United States. It is America's unique flavor and was created, manufactured and sold beginning in 1885 in the Central Texas town of Waco.
Dr Pepper is a “native Texan,” originating at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store. It is the oldest of the major brand soft drinks in America. Like its flavor, the origin of Dr Pepper is out-of-the-ordinary. Charles Alderton, a young pharmacist working at Morrison's store, is believed to be the inventor of the now famous drink. Alderton spent most of his time mixing up medicine for the people of Waco, but in his spare time he liked to serve carbonated drinks at the soda fountain. He liked the way the drug store smelled, with all of the fruit syrup flavor smells mixing together in the air. He decided to to create a drink that tasted like that smell. He kept a journal, and after numerous experiments he finally hit upon a mixture of fruit syrups that he liked.
To test his new drink, he first offered it to store owner Morrison, who also found it to his liking. After repeated sample testing by the two, Alderton was ready to offer his new drink to some of the fountain customers. They liked it as well. Other 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" (the period was dropped in the 1950s). Unfortunately, the origin for the name is unclear. The Museum has collected over a dozen different stories on how the drink became known as Dr Pepper.
Dr Pepper gained such widespread consumer favor that other soda fountain operators in Waco began buying the syrup from Morrison and serving it.
Located at the corner of Fifth St. and Mary Avenue in the turn-of-the-century manufacturing district, the original Dr Pepper building was in a sad state of repair in a neighborhood comprised mostly of abandoned warehouses that were officially declared as "blighted" by the City. The 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. The first pledge campaign started in 1989. Construction started 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 Texas school children and 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. The Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute is the only Museum in Texas to provide educational programming in the principles of economics.
THE DUBLIN PLANT'S BIRTHDAY - June 9, 2007
On June 9, 2007, the oldest Dr Pepper bottling plant in the world located in Dublin, Texas will celebrate its 116th Birthday.
This year's celebration actually begins on Monday June 4 when for one week the Dublin city limit signs are changed to Dr Pepper, Texas. Friday night, Alleyfest will kick off with only the best in arts and crafts displayed in Hogan’s Alley.
But early Saturday is when the real fun begins starting with the 10-2-4k runs. No matter what level runner you are, we’ve got the run for you! The 10-2-4k run is a charity run with all proceeds going to the Lions Club charities.
After the run award ceremonies, there will be plenty of entertainment to fill the rest of the day. This year’s birthday theme is “World Records”.
Visitors will be treated to free Dublin Dr Pepper and free tours of the bottling plant and museum all day long. All carnival games and food booths will be run by one of charitable organizations, and all money raised during the birthday will go to charity. And of course, everyone will share in Dublin Dr Pepper's huge 116th birthday cake.
The annual birthday party, which began in 1991 when the plant observed its 100th birthday, is a “thank you” celebration from the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Co. and parent company Dr Pepper-Seven Up to their customers. All proceeds from the birthday celebration benefit local and area non-profit and charitable organizations.
Most of the material on this page was shamelessly reproduced from the Dr Pepper Museum Web site. For a complete run down on the museum and information about visiting this Texas landmark, visit the official Web site here.