In 1885 Waco, Texas was a wild frontier town, nicknamed “six-shooter junction.” Wade Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store was a prominent business and popular meeting place in downtown Waco. People came in for everything from flea powder to stationery, from cigars to fountain drinks.
One of Morrison’s employees, pharmacist Charles Alderton, noticed how customers loved the smell of the soda fountain with its many fruit, spice and berry aromas. He wanted to invent a drink that tasted the wonderful way the soda fountain smelled. After much experimentation he finally felt he had hit on “something different.” Patrons at the drug store agreed.
Soon other soda fountains were buying the syrup from Morrison and serving it. People loved the new unnamed drink and would order it by simply calling out “shoot me a Waco!” But Morrison named it Dr Pepper, after the father of a girl he had loved back in his home state of Virginia.
In 1891 Morrison and new partner Robert Lazenby organized the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company in order to bottle and sell Dr Pepper as well as other soft drinks. That same year, while visiting Waco, a Texas businessman by the name of Sam Houston Prim tasted the new fountain drink and knew he wanted to sell it in his bottling plant in Dublin, Texas, 80 miles to the west.
Under the direction of Mr. Lazenby Dr Pepper enjoyed steady growth in sales and began to spread in popularity across the country. But it wasn’t until 1904 that Dr Pepper gained real national exposure. Along with other soon to be favorites like ice cream cones and hamburgers, Dr Pepper was introduced to the rest of the U. S. and the entire world at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
Since then Dr Pepper’s popularity has grown consistently over the years to become one of the top 3 soft drinks in the United States and the No. 1 non-cola. And over that time Dr Pepper Corporate Headquarters have remained here in Texas. That’s why Dr Pepper can truly claim the title of “Texas Original.”
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