33 | Who was Dr Pepper?

Check out Quackery this week to hear all of the details on the the world’s oldest soft drink!

Charles Alderman, 1885, Waco Texas – Morrison’s Old Corner Drug store. Charles’ customers wanted a drink that tasted like the soda fountain drug store smelled, so he mixed 23 flavors to come up with his drink.

“Shooting A Waco” is what Alderman’s beverage was originally called. “When served correctly should be placed before you in 2 tumblers”

Was there a guy named Dr Pepper?

•Here is where things get a bit fuzzy. There are two answers to this question:

•1- There is no Doctor Pepper, instead the name is a combination of doctor (from the health claims and because of the drug store) and pepper from the flavor, the “pep” it gives and also “pep” like pepsin (digestive enzyme)

•2 – Doc Pepper was a real doctor in Virginia, and was the father of a girl Charles Alderman loved.

•A surgeon in Virginia is the source of the name of a small Waco based soda you ask? Records indicate a man named Wade Morrison worked for Pepper for several years before moving west to Texas. He bounced around working as a Pharmacist until eventually landing in Waco, under the employ of Alderman in 1885. The creepy part is that Pepper’s daughter was under ten years old when the beverage was named.

Original Health Claims:

•“Vim, Vigor and Vitality”

•Physical and Mental fatigue

•Promotes cell building

•Aids in digestion

•Brain Tonic

When the Pure Food and Drug Act came out in 1906 they made all the drinks remove caffeine and cocaine from the mix, which put the likes of Coca-cola on their heels. Dr Pepper had neither (at the time)

In the 1972 Coke came out with a product called “Peppo” that tasted like Dr Pepper, after they were sued they changed the name to “Dr Pibb” and then after another suit, “Mr Pibb”

“A few years ago, Oklahoma manuscript collector Bill Waters paid $200 for an old store ledger at a Texas antique shop. Notations in the ledger referred to Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store, examples of Charles Anderton’s handwriting, and a curious recipe for “D Peppers Pepsin Bitters” mixed from mandrake root and syrup. A spokesman from the Dr Pepper Snapple Group indicated that the notes were probably a recipe for bitter digestive aid rather than a soft drink, but the historical find went up for auction as the original formula for the beloved soda. Attendees at the auction agreed—the item did not fetch $25,000 minimum reserve price.

Opening theme: “Rattlesnake Railroad”  – Written and Performed by Brett Van Donsel  2015 brettvandonselmusic.com

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