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    Dr Pepper: The Original "Dr Pepper Pepsin Bitters" Formula Handwritten in the Ledger Book from the Waco Drug Store in which It was Invented. A 360+ page ledger book, 8.5" x 13.5", with hundreds of drug and product formulas written and tipped in, circa 1880-1920. A book like this would have been the most precious and carefully-guarded possession of any drug store as it contained the formulas or "recipes" for the various medicinal, household, health, and beauty products that were the business lifeblood of any such establishment. This book, because of its handwritten Castles Formulas title on the cover, certainly originated with the founder of the store in 1880, and continued in use for many years with various individuals adding formulas in scattered locations throughout the book. Starting from the beginning, here is a sampling of some of the products this amazing book has the formulas for: Dr. Wilkes Dead Shot for Tape Worm; Red Lead Ointment; King's Korn Kure; Indelible Ink; Kough Kure (contains morphine acetate and chloroform- it probably would stop a cough!); Catarrh Inhalant; Dr Samuel Johnson's Cough Syrup; Calamine Lotion; La Grippe Remedies; Rubber Stamp Ink; Austin Avenue Cologne; Floor Wax; Orange-Flower Skin Food; Coating Solution for Rx Counter; Bust Developer; Castles Hair Restorer; Stephen's Condition Powder; Miller Chill Tonic; and Conger's Horse Powder. Of course, the most important formula of all is found on page 19, headed Dr Peppers Pepsin Bitters. The condition of the book is fair with the covers and some pages loose and tattered, scattered foxing and soiling.

    Waco, Texas, now a quiet and beautiful city of 120,000+ people and the home to Baylor University, was quite different in the years after the Civil War. It had two nicknames during that period: "The Athens of Texas" referring to its multiple institutes of higher learning; and "Six-Shooter Depot" referring to the plethora of gun-toting outlaws, barroom brawls, and street shootings. In the midst of all the "recreational" businesses in Waco, which included numerous saloons, gambling halls, and a quasi-legal bordello, a pharmacist by the name of John W. Castles opened up a large corner drug store at Fourth and Austin in 1880. He soon took a partner, Wade B. Morrison, who then bought him out and renamed the establishment Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store.

    Drug stores of the day not only sold medicinal compounds, household products, and filled doctors' prescriptions, they sometimes even removed bullets from the victims of the street shootings. Another major business for Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store was its soda fountain serving "soft" drinks and other confections, a popular gathering place for the more sedate citizenry of Waco. A staff pharmacist named Charles Alderton loved to mix various original flavors, add carbonation (a fairly new process), and serve them to his customers. A graduate of the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston, Alderton loved the mixture of scents that the drug store produced and he wanted to come up with a soft drink flavor that reminded him of these wonderful aromas. One fateful day when he thought he had succeeded in formulating a totally unique new taste, he asked his boss, W. B. Morrison, to sample the new concoction. They agreed that this was something special and started serving it to their fountain trade. Without a real name yet, it was often referred to as a "Waco." It quickly became so popular that it had to be given a name. The number of different legends as to how and why "Dr Pepper" was chosen number about a dozen but it followed a trend of the day to give products names with "Doctor" in the title in order to make them sound more healthful. The actual date of the first Dr Pepper is lost to posterity but the U.S. Patent Office recognizes December 1, 1885 as the official date when it was first served at the Old Corner Drug Store.

    The fame of this tasty treat spread to the point that Morrison and Alderton couldn't mix enough of the syrup in their backroom to satisfy demand. Alderton was a pharmacist at heart and by trade and he soon dropped out of the soft drink business; a gentleman by the name of Robert Lazenby stepped in. He and Morrison started a new company in 1891, the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company, which would eventually become the Dr Pepper Company. For a number of years, the product was known mostly in Texas. The 1904 World's Fair and Exposition in St. Louis changed that forever. Dr Pepper got its first national exposure to twenty million people. The rest, as they say, is history. Dr. Pepper was the first of the major American soft drinks to be formulated (pre-dating Coca-Cola by a year) and the only one invented west of the Mississippi. Texas is proud to have shared it with the world.

    The king of beverages. Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2, and 4. The friendly pepper-upper. America's most misunderstood soft drink. The most original soft drink ever. Be a pepper. It makes the world taste better. Be you. There's just more to it.
    These are some of the memorable ad campaign slogans used by Dr Pepper through the last 100+ years. The simple fact is that Dr Pepper has long since transcended being just a soda pop; it is a pop culture phenomenon. Some astute private collector or institution will be fortunate enough to own this amazing component of its humble beginning.


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    Auction Dates
    May, 2009
    13th-14th Wednesday-Thursday
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