Last week at the museum, we opened a new exhibit, The Homes of Dr Pepper. This exhibition takes you on a historic journey to each one of these Homes of Dr Pepper. During its history, the company has been headquartered in SEVEN different locations in Texas starting with its cradle at the Old Corner Drugstore to an art deco icon in Dallas and grand corporate castle on Legacy Drive in Plano. As with most of our exhibits, we found so much more information about all these great places than what we could possibly share with you in one exhibit. So over the next few months, we’ll share some of it with you on our blog. Today we are starting not with its first home, the Old Corner Drugstore, but with its second home, the site built by the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company in 1906, which is now our home, the Dr Pepper Museum.
With Wade Morrison as president, the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company was formed to bottle and sell Dr Pepper and other soft drinks. After surveying several areas around Waco, property at the corner of 5th Street and Mary Avenue was purchased in 1905 and Milton Scott, a popular local architect, was brought on to design the state-of-the-art building that opened in 1906. The new facility housed bottling production, offices, and laboratories for the production of Dr Pepper and several other soft drinks including Circle A Ginger Ale. The Southern Carbonator and Bottler in September 1906 included an article on the facility along with floor plans. Here is the building’s description from then:
“The building is 130 feet long and 50 feet wide, and consists of three stories, basement and boiler room. The boiler-room contains the boiler, engine and refrigerating machinery and electric dynamo. The basement is designed for the storage of heavy supplies, and is reached from the first floor by a stairway and basement elevator. The first story contains rooms for the clerical force, consisting of a private office, general office, toilet–room, lobby for the advertising room, and printing presses. The rear part of the first story is the bottling room proper, and contains machinery used in bottling.”
The third story contains the distilling plant and sugar storage. A large power elevator carries supplies from the first story to the third.
There is a wharf on each side of the building, extending the full length, which provides ample facilities for the handling of freight.
The building is heated with waste steam and lighted by electricity from an electric plant installed in the building.
The exterior of the building is of buff pressed brick, with stone trimming and red tile roof. The style of the building, in general, is Romanesque and was designed by Milton W. Scott, architect, Waco, Texas, with the view to making a model bottling establishment, and especially to be in keeping with the vim, vigor and vitality of Dr. Pepper and the snap and sparkle of Zu Zu Ginger Ale.
One feature is the gold and silver dome, which is quite an ‘eye catcher,’ and serves to fix the identity of the building with strangers. A special feature is a fine shower bath for the employees, a perfect sanitary arrangement everywhere in the building and on the grounds.”
Thanks to Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections for letting us showcase the fabulous AMBC ad from the 1906 Baylor Roundup. You can check out the other interesting items that they have by visiting http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu.
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.