Who would have thought touring an old bottling plant would be so interesting--but it was!
The Dr. Pepper Museum is housed in a former bottling plant, constructed in 1891 in Dublin, Texas--a small community pretty much swallowed up by the city of Waco.
What makes this particular location stand out, is that it's the only franchise that still prepares their Dr. Pepper soda with pure cane sugar. All other bottling plants use the less expensive high fructose corn syrup. It really does make a difference in the taste according to my two Dr. Pepper devotees!
Inside the museum you'll see a storefront memorializing the Old Corner Drug Store* (pic #2), a robotic Dr. Alderton telling how he devised his secret recipe, Dr. Pepper collectibles, bottling machinery, a gift shop (pic #3) and one very busy cafe (pic #4).
We found a $.50 discount coupon on Dr. Pepper's website, which we used towards admission which was regularly $6 for adults; $4 for seniors and $3 for students and kids.
Hours are Mon-Sat. 10 am-4:15 p.m. Sun. 12 Noon to 4:15 p.m. Allow at least 1 hour to tour and don't forget to stop by the cafe---many good tasting treats await you there! A Dr. Pepper float anyone?
*FYI: The recipe for this popular drink was created by Charles Alderton, who worked in the Old Corner Drug Store owned by Wade Morrison. Morrison named the drink after the father of a young woman he lost his heart to, but the relationship never came to anything.
Once sold only as a soda fountain treat, it was discovered by a shrewd businessman named Sam Houston Prim who tasted it one day and liked it! He then founded the first bottling plant in Dublin, Tx.
On your tour of the Dr. Pepper Museum, you'll find an antique bottling line (still in working condition), all types of manufacturing equipment and original artesian well. The well is lit so that you can see waaaaay to the bottom--one peek was all I needed (pic #2)!
The Dr. Pepper collectibles were gathered together by Bill Kloster, 'who loved and collected all things Dr. Pepper'. This collection is the largest in the world and contains many rare pieces of paraphenalia related to the brand.
A small viewing area was set up on the second floor where we were entertained by classic Dr. Pepper commercials from the 60's and 70's--they were very amusing!
Here's a little test of your memory: Some of you might recall the numbers once associated with the Dr. Pepper brand: 10, 2 & 4. A Dr. Walter Eddy of Columbia U. discovered that the body experienced a natural drop in energy at 10:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm.
He noted that when individuals in his study had something to eat or drink at 10, 2 or 4pm they would offset this energy drop. Dr. Pepper took advantage of this study by advertising that a drink of their soda at the prescribed times would be a healthy thing to do. The ad went: Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2 & 4! Anyone remember this slogan (pic #3)?
FYI: The museum has it's own parking lot across the street from the entrance.
A life size animatronic Dr Alderton tells the story of his invention. To test his new drink, he first offered it to store owner Morrison, who liked it. After repeated sample testing by the two, Alderton offered his new drink to some of the fountain customers. They liked it as well and in 1885 after 2 years of testing, America’s new and unique flavour was made and sold in Waco.
Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute is the oldest surviving headquarters for a major soft drink and concentrates in the United States. Dr Peppers was first mixed in the Old Corner Drug Store in the 1880’s and was first called a ‘Waco’ by its early patrons because it could not be found anywhere outside of Waco. Later, the owner of Morrisons Drug Store gave the drink the name of Dr Pepper .
The formula which was first mixed by Dr Charles Alderton, has remained basically unchanged for over a hundred years.
The museum is housed in the original 1906 bottling plant and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features a restored operating soda fountain along with memorabilia and audio displays. You can still buy the old fashion sodas there.
Open, Mon - Sat: 10-4, Sun: 12-4
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