As I mentioned before, we are going to be posting a few tidbits of fun information that we discovered while doing research for our most recent exhibit – Homes of Dr Pepper. The following quotes come from the Dr Pepper Bottlers Manual, 1933. At this time, Dr Pepper headquarters were located on 2nd Avenue in Dallas while the building the company had built in Waco as the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company was operating strictly as a bottling plant for Dr Pepper. This book covered everything a Dr Pepper bottler needed to know to be a successful bottler. Lots of great information on the growth of the company during the late 1920s, what the Dr Pepper Company did to ensure that their syrup production was of the best quality, and what bottlers needed to do to ensure they were bottling the best product.
“Dr. Pepper grew from a single bottling plant operation developed by the parent company. This plant is located at Waco, Texas, and serves a territory of approximately 237,000. As far as we know, it has an unbroken earning record for 35 continuous years. During the past six years, after providing for Federal taxes, it has averaged $37,000 net income per year.”
“The present management took charge in 1925…Two years were spent setting the house in order for a new and more ambitious effort….When the stage was properly set in May 1927, the first advertising was released. It featured the energy value of Dr. Pepper. The thought was neatly summed up in a single sentence: “Drink a Bite to Eat At 10, 2, and 4 o’clock.” The first campaign was relatively small. Posters and newspapers were used Waco, Dallas, and Houston. The response was immediate. The sales gain for the year was spectacular. The whole industry became interested. Franchise applications from bottlers came unsolicited…From this point forward, progress was rapid. By the end of 1928, Texas was well covered with successful bottlers and syrup sales had increased nearly 600% over 1926. In rapid succession, during 1929, 1930, 1931, and 1932, distribution and bottling connections were extended into state after state. Today practically the solid South and parts of many adjoining states, a market of more than 40,000,000 people, is being served.”
“By 1929, the growing demand for syrup made additional capacity a necessity. A new factory was built and equipped at Dallas. By 1931, expansion East of the Mississippi River demanded a factory closer to that market. A second modern plant was built at Birmingham. Both of these plants are considered models in their field and provide capacity to supply the growing demand of territories served for many years to come.”
“Both the Dallas and Birmingham Dr. Pepper syrup factories are conceded to be the last word in efficiency and quality control. This is important to every Dr. Pepper bottler, since the precise flavor, purity and quality of the finished bottled product is primarily dependent upon the same qualities in the syrup.”
“Every step of the syrup manufacturing process; from the making of simple syrup (using specifically refined, pure-cane sugar and distilled water) to the mixing of purest flavor ingredients and the sealing in barrels, kegs, or jugs, is carried on with precision, accuracy and care. Every step of every process is guarded by the scientific eye and test-tube of our own laboratory.”
“A sample of every batch of syrup is tested for uniformity and exact density. These samples are kept for future reference…This system of test records permits positive check-up on any barrel, keg or jug of syrup, should one, at any time, be reported “off” flavor. It is a safeguard, which we rigidly maintain, though we have never had this occur. The same exacting control is practiced at the Birmingham plant.”
“There is no beverage quite so deliciously flavored, so delicate and distinctive in taste as Dr. Pepper when properly bottled…The requisites of a GOOD Dr. Pepper are as follows:
1. Suitable water.
2. One ounce of syrup to each bottle.
3. Carbonation of 3.5 volumes of carbon dioxide gas.
4. Filling point on bottles regulated to two inches from the top of the bottle at which point Dr. Pepper bottles contain 6 1/2 ounces.
5. Sanitary conditions which assure a product free from bacteria, yeast, or mold.”
The Dr Pepper Museum is located at 300 S. 5th Street in downtown Waco. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday from Noon until 5:00 PM, last ticket sold at 4:15. For more information, visit us on the web at drpeppermuseum.com. To purchase your own
Dr Pepper memorabilia, visit the Museum’s online gift shop.