Dr Pepper was born in 1885–FIRST of national soda flavors–a result of Victorian ingenuity and creativity, in Waco, Texas. Vintage newspaper ads show the soda fountain beverage’s claim to natural, healthful medicinal value–while strictly claiming an absence of all harmful substances. I discovered interesting details I’d never heard before… Perhaps you will, too!
Hires Root Beer, from its debut in the mid-1870s, was sold as a refreshing beverage (with no medicinal expectations). The name, chosen by Charles H. Hires, to appeal to tough coal miners, who’d never find “root tea” attractive, ended up causing Hires Co. a bit of trouble with Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Who knew that “beer” in a name, and the common knowledge that root beer extract was percolated with alcohol (though the finished drink had no more than a whole loaf of homemade bread), to cause banning of the beverage?