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Soda from the 50s: Baby Boomer Pop

In the 1950s, soda was a big deal. Teenagers would go to soda shops and order ice cream sodas or cherry coke floats with their friends. Soda shops were also popular hangouts for teenagers who wanted to find out what was going on in town without having to actually leave their neighborhood. Along the way, this list of soda from the 50s helped rebuild a war-torn country.

Coke

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in history. Originally called “Coca-Cola,” it picked up the nickname “Coke” when they began serving it in stores.

Coca-Cola’s soda was originally created by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886. Coca-Cola is the world’s most popular soda, and has been since it first hit store shelves in 1899.

The original flavor of Coke was a mixture of coca leaf extract (the main ingredient), caffeine or extract of kola nut, sugar or other sweeteners, and water.

In 1905 Coke was sold for the first time in bottles. In 1919, Coca-Cola introduced a separate soda called “Fanta” that tasted like fruit juice (originally orange).

Royal Crown Cola

Originally created by pharmacist Claud A. Hatcher in Columbus, Georgia in 1898, Royal Crown Cola was the soda of choice for soda fountains in America.

Dubbed “The Monarch of All Malted Beverages,” RC became an American staple and a popular mixer to other drinks (especially whiskey) until it experienced a decline in popularity with Americans from the late 1950s through the 1980s.

Pepsi-Cola

Created and first produced by soda fountain operator Caleb Bradham in New Bern, North Carolina, Pepsi-Cola was originally called “Brad’s Drink”, which he created in 1893. The recipe (which is still used today) added vanilla to the kola nuts already being sold at his pharmacy soda fountain. In 1898, when Dr. Pepper began being distributed in soda fountains, Pepsi began promoting itself as the “Pepsi-Cola” (note the hyphen) of Dr. Pepper.

The drink’s major surge in popularity came during World War II when sugar rationing meant that Coca-Cola supply could not meet demand and Pepsi had to advertise heavily on radio stations for the soda fountain trade.

The company’s “Pepsi Generation” campaign in the 1960s and 1970s was a major factor in Pepsi overtaking Coca-Cola as the number one soda by sales volume for over fifteen years until it lost its lead to Coke again on single cans, but remained ahead of them on twelve packs and two liters.

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew was introduced in 1940 by the soda fountain division of Pepsi. Featuring a flavor that was noticeably different from other soda flavors on the market, Mountain Dew has maintained a strong fan base for decades.

Despite its name and logo depicting a man in lederhosen, Mountain Dew does not contain any dew. The drink’s name is derived from the slang term for moonshine which was popular during Prohibition.

Dr. Pepper

Dr. Pepper was invented and first sold at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store soda fountain, run by an apothecary named Charles Alderton, in Waco, Texas on December 14th 1885. The drink was created to compete with another local soda called “Coca-Cola”. The soda fountain became known as “The Corner” and operated until 1911 when it closed.

Squirt

Squirt is a soda that was first produced in 1948 by the Howdy Corporation. The soda consists of water, sugar and fruit flavors but does not contain any carbonation. Squirt’s logo has always been their mascot – “Mr. Pibb” who resembles an orange slice with eyes and legs

7 Up

Despite its name, the soda was originally marketed as a mixer for alcoholic drinks and sold in stores not as an individual soda. The drink’s creator, Charles Leiper Grigg of St. Louis, Missouri invented it to counteract stomach problems caused by Prohibition-era alcohol consumption and premiered his product on March 18th 1929.

Hires Root Beer

The soda was first invented in 1876 by Charles Elmer Hires who had the idea for it after having a root beer float at his drug store soda fountain. The soda consists of vanilla, sassafras and cola flavors – some versions also contain caffeine.

(Like Soda from the 50s? Then you might like our article on Soda from the 90s, click here.)

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