Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Dr Pepper Museum: Waco, Tx

The Dr Pepper Museum houses three floors of Texas soft-drink history.  I will say right off the bat, I liked this museum, I thought it was interesting.  There were quite a few people here on a very hot Sunday but not so many that seeing the displays became difficult.  I am not going to give away everything but here are some highlights.

The museum is in an area of town that seems fairly deserted and industrial, but in fairness, it is Sunday afternoon.

The displays begin before you even get inside with this old delivery truck.

Where can one find this Crazy Water I want to know?  Apparently it is really good for the bowel as indicated by numbers 1, 3 & 4.  There is an old fashioned soda fountain here but they don't have it.  I didn't find any in the gift shop either.

There is a Dr Pepper Club?  They have a convention?  I had to check this out online.  The club is the 10-2-4 Collector's Club (the clock should read 3:50 then right?)  The 28th annual meeting was March 8-10, 2012.  Events included a reception, seminars, a show-n-tell, auction and swap meet.  This was difficult to discover as the web-design genius of that site used a red font on a red background.

The 1st floor includes Dr. Charles Alderton, inventor of Dr Pepper.  He spoke to a small group in what looked like a replica bar about his invention.

There is an Artesian Well.  The Well as it is called, was considered the best and healthiest water available.  The well is cleared to 27 1/2 feet but the total depth is unknown.  Reading the plaques on the wall makes it seem as if they also don't know if water from this well was ever used in production.

Rounding out the first floor is a display of bottling equipment.  There are also wall displays that include photographs, old bottles and other memorabilia.

I take a quick elevator ride to the second floor to view a display of old commercials.  There are also two temporary displays on this floor.

Something I was unprepared to see...the Coca-Cola logo on anything at the Dr Pepper museum.  This display includes things like this cassette tape player and toy give-away items by various bottlers and...

Lots of information on different types of coolers.  Again with products from other companies.

The second temporary display is in honor of the anniversary of my favorite, Big Red.  Big Red was also invented here in Waco but was originally called Sun Tang Red Cream Soda.

I am challenged to open each of these boxes, take a whiff of the scent inside and decide which are used in the production of Big Red.  Since these were essentially car air fresheners, I had no idea.  The choices were:  1)Blue Cheese 2)Raspberry 3)Lemon 4)Vanilla 5)Cinnamon 6)Chocolate 7)Orange 8)Dillweed.  They use 3, 4 & 7.  

An ad aimed at women since they obviously do all of the shopping.

Holy cow!  Someone get me a hammer!  Big Red Vanilla Float is my absolute favorite.  At one time, we could get this at the gas station in our neighborhood but they haven't carried it in a long time.  I haven't seen it anywhere in years.  The sign says it was introduced at the Kentucky Derby in 2004.  See that kid in the background?  He is watching old Dr Pepper commercials. They ran one with Godzilla while I was taking this picture.  I wonder if only people who knew what a cassette tape was would know who Godzilla is?

Big Red recipes!  Break out the ice-cream freezer!

Listed in "A Handy Dandy Guide to the Dr Pepper Museum Top 10 Must See Spots" as the favorite photo op is the Bottle Cap Horse.  No one is here to take my picture and I am not sure why I would take my picture with a horse that is in a plexiglass box.  One more trip in the elevator...

The 3rd floor is dedicated to W.W. "Foots" Clements, a.k.a. Mister Dr Pepper.    He served as president, CEO and Chairman of the Board at various times after working his way up from delivery.  There is an institute here that opened in 1997 designed to teach students about the free economic system using the soft-drink industry as a model.  The institute is called, of course, The W.W. "Foots" Clements Free Enterprise Institute.

The only high-tech thing I have seen here, a holographic image that tells three different stories.  Back down the elevator and into the front stairway on the first floor.

On May 11, 1953 a tornado hit downtown Waco damaging buildings - including Dr Pepper - and killing 114.  This stairwell has photos and information about the damage and rebuilding efforts.  It is also where I learn that there is a memorial in another part of town.

This "teardrop" memorial also lists the names of those killed on the other side.  It is at the location of the original soda shop.

The only problem with this museum was a typographical error.  Those outside of Texas may not have noticed but there is no period after the doctor in Dr Pepper.  Look at the logo.  

Apparently the person who typed up a great deal of the display cards didn't know this.

This was my third venue where a Scavenger Hunt was available.

And once again, I didn't find all of the clues.  I think you really need someone between the ages of 6 -10 to be successful at these.

Time to move on down the road.  I drank me about 15 Dr Peppers, just like Forrest Gump.  How far is Georgetown again?

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