2020-07-22T11:46:46-05:00

Intro to the Museum

Welcome to the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute.

The main Museum building is the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company Building (AMBC) headquarters and manufacturing facility.

Built in 1906, this was first place Dr Pepper was bottled on a large scale and the first company headquarters for Dr Pepper.

Pop Quiz! Dr Pepper was not the only beverage that used to be bottled in this building!

Which of these other beverages do you think also used to be bottled here?  

Nope! Try again.

Correct! The Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company bottled a beverage called Celery Champagne along with Dr Pepper in this building.

Nope! Try again.

Nope! Try again.

Healing Waters

The story of soft drinks begins with carbonated water.

The Healing Waters exhibit explores the history of water for medicinal purposes.

This bubbly water would eventually be sold in pharmacies with sweetened flavored syrup—thus soft drinks were born.

Old Corner Drug Store

Dr Pepper was invented in 1885 in the Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas.

This pharmacy was a popular spot for the many people traveling through Waco and locals alike.

The pharmacist, Dr. Alderton, combined 23 flavors to create the infamous soft drink at the soda fountain.

Brain Pop: Dr Pepper’s unique taste comes from its 23 different flavors. How would you describe the taste of Dr Pepper?

It’s hard to do since we don’t know for sure what’s in it!

Other sodas usually have a lot less than 23 flavors in their recipe. 7UP, for example, only uses 2 – lemon and lime. Try describing the taste of 7UP to someone without using the words “lemon” or “lime”. Then try the same thing with the beverages listed below!

  • Describe the taste of Orange Sunkist without using the word “orange”.

  • Describe the taste of Canada Dry Ginger Ale without using the words “ginger” or “citrus”.

  • Describe the taste of Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red without using the words “fruit”, “juice”, “apple”, “apricot”, “guava”, “orange” “passion fruit”, or “pineapple”.

The Bottling Room

The first floor of the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building was where carbonated water and syrup were combined and capped in bottles.

The factory was state of the art, complete with an indoor artesian well and a variety of bottling machinery.

Pop Quiz!  The well is 27.5 feet deep.  A 20-ounce plastic Dr Pepper bottle is 8.5 inches tall. 

How many Dr Pepper bottles stacked on top of each other will it take to reach the bottom? 

Wilton’s Landing

The soft drink industry, like so many others, changed with the invention of the automobile.

Dr Pepper began to be sold in small-town gas stations around the country in addition to the large cities.

Advertising also changed with the addition of the 10-2-4 Good for Life campaign.

Beaker to Bottle

The second floor of the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building was used to manufacture syrup for soft drinks.

The floor in this space was slanted so that syrup could drain out of the building out of the indoor gutter system.

Pop Quiz! Slanted floors like the one in this room are still used in buildings that are designed today!

Which of these rooms is likely to have a slanted floor?

Yes! But is that the only right answer?

Yes! But is that the only right answer?

Yes! But is that the only right answer?

Correct! The rooms listed above can sometimes get a little messy – just like a laboratory in a soda factory!

Dr Pepper Commercials

While visiting the second floor, be sure to watch your favorite Dr Pepper commercials.

Included in the selection are radio commercials from the 1930s, black and white TV commercials, and finally color TV commercials up through the early 2000s.

Pop Quiz! B.C and The Wizard of Id were comics drawn by Johnny Hart. In the 1960s, he also drew a caveman advertisement for Dr Pepper.

What is the main character’s name?

Harmon. Harmon the Caveman was joined by Orville, Maybelle, and Bunion as they schemed ways to get their favorite drink, Dr Pepper.

3rd Floor

At the Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute, we teach how businesses and the economy work through the story of Dr Pepper and the soft drink industry.

One example of success made possible by the Free Enterprise System is WW “Foots” Clements who, through hard work and perseverance, rose from a delivery truck driver to the CEO of the Dr Pepper company.

Take a seat at the CEO’s desk and start planning your next big business idea!

Brain Pop: Foots showed that great leaders and entrepreneurs can come from anywhere.

  • What do you think a good leader does when they fail at something?
  • What are some characteristics of a good leader?
  • Why do you think a business should “treat others the way they want to be treated”?

Gift Shop

The space that the Gift Shop occupies was originally the Mechanical Room for the AMBC.

The machinery in the bottling room was operated by steam created from the boiler that was in this space.

Today you can shop to your heart’s content.

Check our “I’m a Pepper” gear!

Courtyard

While heading to the East Wing building, be sure to pause to see our 1950s Chevy delivery truck that is painted Dr Pepper mint green.

Also, stop to see the original boiler originally located in the space that is now the Gift Shop.

Take a selfie at the original Dr Pepper Good for Life mural that dates to the 1940s at this bottling plant.

Soda Fountain

Watch our soda jerks make Dr Pepper the old-fashioned way at the Original Home of the Dr Pepper float.

You can use your admission voucher for a free Dr Pepper or upgraded it to a Dr Pepper float made with another Texas favorite, Blue Bell ice cream.

Collections Window

Both buildings at the Museum are certified haunted locations by McLennan County Paranormal Investigations.

Throughout both buildings, staff and guests have experienced things they cannot explain.

Many of these occasions occur in the Museum’s collections spaces that are not accessible for guests but can be viewed through a window.

Liquid Lab

Explore the science of soda pop at our daily Liquid Lab demonstrations!

Free with general admission. Accommodations are available for visitors who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Please notify museum staff before a demonstration to learn more.

7UP Botting Line

The soft drink industry, like so many others, adapted to technology changes. Bottling lines replaced individual machines, making the bottling process more efficient. As companies adapt, they are able to offer consumers better quality products cheaper and faster.

Pop Quiz! Watch the bottles go down the line. Bottling lines today move much faster.

How many cans do you think a bottling line can fill today?

1,100 to 1,500 cans per minute. Just think about how far the industry as come.

Dr Pepper Slogans Hallway

Dr Pepper was invented in 1885 and continues to be a success despite the changing times, unlike so many other soft drinks made at the same time.

The soft drink succeeded because of its ability to adapt its advertising to the current consumer.

An example of this is its evolving slogans.

If you are interested in watching a live Liquid Lab Demonstration, the entrance is down this hallway.

Check your map or our website to see showtimes.

Big Red

Big Red was another drink invented in Waco that is part of the Keurig Dr Pepper family of beverages.

Originally green, Big Red is a wonderful example of how a company must be willing to adapt to succeed.

Pop Quiz! Big Red has not always been called Big Red.

What was its original name?

Sun Tang Red Cream Soda. With such a long name, aren’t you glad they decided to shorten it?

The Beverage Express

Created and built by Holt Getterman in 2016, the train layout features G scale trains traveling through Waco and Dr Pepper landscapes.

The train is on a timer, so if it isn’t on, just wait for a few minutes!

Pop Quiz! Watch the train go round and round!

How many repurposed bottles and cans do you see?

If you got close to 30, you are on the right track.