Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Volume 2, Series 3 of the Dr Pepper Museum Intern Interest Peice Series

Written by Adrienne Joseph, Baylor University Public Relations Student

Naturally, when I was walking around the museum trying to decide which single item to write about, I had a hard time narrowing it down. That was until I stumbled upon a mortar and pestle in a case next to the elevator.
I think back to career day in elementary school, and I think of my mom coming to school to talk about her career as a pharmacist. I remember all of my classmates thinking her presentation was the coolest, because we go to play with a mortar and pestle to smash up smarties candies in order to create a new “medicine” of our own.

Thinking back to days of crushing candies to make my own special medicine seems so long ago. Then I think of who all may have used the actual one sitting in that case in front of me, and I think of how that must have been much longer ago.

People would use the one in that case, next to the old medicine bottles, for a real purpose other than that of destroying candy pieces. It is fun to sit and think of the hands in the past that may have used that pestle in order to mix up medicines. Now you may wonder why the Dr Pepper museum has a mortar and pestle on display, and the answer is this.

Pharmacists in America and Europe experimented with ingredients with the intent of finding new remedies for various aliments. Pharmacies were equipped with soda fountains and here people would often go to get their soft drinks. Flavored soda water was popular not only for medical reason but for the taste also.

Charles Alderton, a young pharmacist who worked at Morrison’s drug store here in Waco is said to be the inventor of Dr Pepper. He’d spend his says making medicines for the people but would also serve carbonated beverages at the soda fountain. He would mix the fruity flavored syrups together in his spare time, until one day found a drink to his liking... hence Dr Pepper. Pharmacists were the inventors of many of today’s popular soft drink flavors. I could just see my mother today filling her high volume of prescriptions and then mixing up some soda behind the counter of a soda fountain all in a single days work.

Now the mortar and pestle on display here at the Dr Pepper museum is much fancier than the one I would play with as a child, as that one was boring and plain white, where as the one here at them museum is a pretty silver. It has detailing along the bottom and Rx written on its side, much more appealing to the eye.

After talking to my mom she informed me although mortar and pestles aren’t used as much today, they are still kept in pharmacies and used when its necessary to crush up a tablet for any reason. Who knows all my days as a child mixing up my own creations with that mortar and pestle I could have stumbled upon a soft drink flavor of my own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

10-2-4 Convention Here We Come!

Well, we are actually coming from the 10-2-4 Convention, but whatev! As some of you may know, collecting Dr Pepper memorabilia is a pretty big deal to some people, and every year Waco is home to the 10-2-4 Collector's Club Convention. The Museum hosts a reception every year, and the staff always participate in the events. This year the recpetion was made even better by the addition of our cars and wagons in the courtyard, and Mary Beth, jessica, and Carrie gave a riveting seminar on Friday morning. Our seminar was about how the individual collectors can care for their objects, and we gave them tips on how we do it at the museum, as well as insights into what professionals do. We are not professionals here at the museum, but we practice preventive conservation, which means we are trying to stop any further damage to the objects, and not necissarily trying to reverse the damage already done. The theme of the convention this year was "Dr Pepper at the Movies," so to entertain the crowd and get them interested in our seminar, Jessica and I made a video! This is a big deal for us as newbies to the film-making industry, but I think we did a pretty decent job! The premise is that we are following three Dr Pepper stars, which are three different objects, and learning about how they are cared for on the "set." And because our blog fans are so wonderful, we are including the hilarious blooper reel exclusively on the blog!!! Check em' out!



Below are some pictures from the events of the convention!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Volume 1, Series 3 of the Dr Pepper Museum Intern Interest Peice Series

Written by Jennifer Dobbs, Baylor University Marketing Student

After I started interning here, I really started to think about Dr Pepper as a product. I began with how would one even come about in making a soda? It seems like such a big idea and process to invent. Like what to mix together and how much of an ingredient do you put in? I have all of these thoughts and as I walk around the museum they are somehow answered.

When I come across the rotating display case full of old Dr Pepper syrup jugs, there is one jug that really catches my attention. The 1960s vintage candy striped label that tells me a variety of information. Where it was made, what ingredients are in it and even directions on how to make a drink with it. Here is some nifty information about the syrup:

*Directions for cup vending equipment and continuous flow fountain dispensers:
Dispensing ratio is one ounce syrup to five and one-half ounces carbonated water.

*Directions for manually mixed fountain drink:
Dispense a six and one-half ounce drink. Requires one ounce syrup to five and one-half ounces carbonated water. Ratio should always be one part syrup to five and one-half parts carbonated water in instances where liquid content is more or less than six and one-half fluid ounces. Stir gently to thoroughly mix syrup and water.

Water, sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, citric acid, caffeine, flavorings and spices

*Syrup Plants:
Dallas, Texas, Baltimore, Maryland and Birmingham, Alabama

The rest of the information on the label teaches you how to store it, how to serve it (frosty cold that is) and who manufactures the gallon jugs of syrup.

A little fact, syrup is concocted with purified water, sugar or corn syrup, and flavorings, acids, etc. Dr Pepper and other soft drink manufacturers produce flavor concentrate that contain all the secret ingredients that make their flavors so special. The finished syrup is produced by the bottler when this flavor concentrate and edible acids are added to a simple syrup made of sugar and water.

Along with the ‘60s candy stripe jug, there are several more classic jugs from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. This circular exhibit case offers much more than what meets the eye; learning about the drink itself.