Howdy again everyone. You may remember me (Charlie) from another blog post, but since that was a year and a half ago I will not hold it against anyone if you’ve forgotten. Since then I have gotten the chance to start working on some of our exhibits like The Cooler Crowd and The Well Dressed Pepper featuring dresses and other fashion statements, but I still spend most of my time in the temperature controlled domain of collections. The Dr Pepper Museum collection is home to much more than just bottles or cans and includes many brands of soft drink memorabilia. These drinks range from sodas made decades ago that enjoyed a brief flash of fame and glory along with those that are extremely popular in regional areas of the country.
For this collections blog post, it is only appropriate that we pick an object that has defined collections and been our mascot since before I worked here. Now you might be thinking that it could be a Dr Pepper Lion or perhaps a David Naughton poster from his classic “I’m a Pepper” commercials. Actually you would be wrong if you guessed Dr Pepper at all. A unique group needed a unique symbol, and for us, there is Moxie Lady. Now at this point you are probably asking yourself “what’s a Moxie Lady?” I will explain this in two parts covering what Moxie Lady is, what Moxie is, and I am going to count on everyone to already know what a lady is.
Moxie Lady is the term we have given a paper mache sculpture of a woman’s head with “Moxie 5¢” above her head. The face is a plastic doll’s head with the hair being formed from the paper mache. She was created and donated to the Museum by Joe Cline, a member of the Baylor University Moxie fan club. Moxie Lady is based off of several women who appeared as the Moxie Girl mascot on advertisements like posters, fans, and change trays in the 1910s and 20s. The most famous woman to don the persona of a Moxie Girl was Muriel Ostriche who at 17 posed for pictures to be used on Moxie fans. She went on to star in numerous silent films.
Moxie itself is a soft drink that was created in Lowell, Massachusetts. Like several soft drinks, (our favorite, Dr Pepper, included) Moxie was originally created by a pharmacist. By 1885 it was simply sold as a soft drink in both bottles and syrup for soda fountains. Moxie’s popularity hit its peak in the 1920s when Red Sox player Ted Williams and President Calvin Coolidge were drinkers of the product. Since then the drink has declined in popularity and is mainly popular in the northeast United States. Today the New England Moxie Congress serves as the number one group of Moxie drinkers and fans.
Moxie Lady is just one of many treasures that have been donated through the years and it is our goal to ensure that these pieces of history are preserved for all to see. Sure we like to have fun too, but that only comes after the meticulous organization and ensuring everything is covered in bubble warp. Lots and lots of bubble wrap.