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Why did they Drop the 'period' in "Dr."?

"Note that there is no period after the "Dr" in Dr Pepper. This fact is acknowledged in the Associated Press Stylebook. I know this because I am the person responsible for having it included back in the early 1970s. The reason there is no period is the result of an italicized type face used in the early 1950s. The period after the "r" appeared to look like a colon because of the font used. The result appeared to be "Di: Pepper". Not only was the period dropped, but the font was soon changed. There is really no reason for a period since we're not a member of the medical profession, or even degreed.."

-- Jim Ball (Sr. V.P. Corporate Communications
at Dr Pepper)

Click to play Lux Radio Theatre #602, 'Lady In The Lake', from Feb 09, 1948
Click the 'Listen' icon to download or play:
Lux Radio Theatre #602, 'Lady In The Lake', from Feb 09, 1948'


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10-2-4 Time and Darts for Dough spot ad from Nov 22 1944
10-2-4 Time and Darts for Dough spot ad from Nov 22 1944
Dr Pepper the friendly ''Pepper-Upper'' sign
1911 slogan King of Beverages
Dr. Pepper Sign with dot after Dr

Dr Pepper 10 2 4 sign without dot after DrSmall Dr Pepper bottle

Click Round Dr. Pepper Sign for Golden Age
Dr. Pepper Ad Gallery

Dr. Pepper History: The Granddaddy of American Soda Pop

Dr Pepper (the "." was dropped in the 50's. See the sidebar) is the oldest major brand soft drink in America , preceding Coca-Cola by several years. It's was developed between 1883 and 1885 by Robert .S. Lazenby, a Waco , Texas beverage chemist and loyal patron of Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store and Fountain in Waco. Lazenby was first exposed to the delicious, flavorful concoction by an inventive young pharmacist, Charles Alderton, who worked at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store and spent much of his spare time experimenting with the various syrups, flavorings and Sundry ingredients available at both the soda fountain and pharmacy.

Alderton became driven to develop a syrup flavor that perfectly captured that scent and palate unique only to soda fountains of the era--the very essence of that incomparable 'soda fountain smell'.  Experimenting week after week, while meticulously recording his results in a journal, young Charles Alderton finally arrived at a blend of flavors that soon became a popular staple at Morrison's Fountain--the very essence of Old Time Pharmacy Soda Fountain scent and taste.

Alderton first offered his new drink to store owner Morrison, who immediately loved it's very fruity, unique flavor. Following further batch sampling, Morrison agreed to offer it to the Store's fountain patrons. The Fountain's regular customers took to the new syrup flavor in droves and referred to the early fountain concoction as "A Waco".

Morrison himself is credited with naming the drink "Dr Pepper", though the true origin of the name remains apocryphal to this day.

Drink Bottled Dr. Pepper King of Beverages circa 1901
Drink Bottled Dr. Pepper King of Beverages circa 1901

Dr. Pepper Goes National

Dr Pepper's fame quickly spread throughout Waco and became such a local favorite that other fountain operators began buying the syrup and serving it to their own soda fountain patrons. Equally blessed and cursed by the new-found success of their popular syrup, Morrison and Alderton soon found they could no longer keep up with demand.

Robert S. Lazenby had also tasted the new drink and was thoroughly impressed, as well as mindful of the commercial possibilities of such a unique beverage. Alderton himself, primarily interested in pharmacy work, had no desire to commercialize the drink.   Alderton suggested that Morrison and Lazenby develop the syrup further.  So it was that after two more years of testing, blending and processing, the extraordinary new beverage was put on sale commercially.  That same formula has remained virtually unchanged since 1885.

UPDATE: A recently discovered notebook may hint that one of the first names considered for Alderton's concoction was "D. Peppers Pepsin Bitters."

Morrison and Lazenby were understandably impressed with the growth of Dr Pepper. In 1891, they formed The Artesian Manufacturing & Bottling Company, which eventually became Dr Pepper Company. R.S. Lazenby and his son-in-law, J.B. O'Hara moved the company from Waco to Dallas in 1923.

Lazenby and O'Hara introduced Dr Pepper to almost 20 million people attending the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and Exposition. The 1904 exposition also introduced hamburgers, frankfurters and the ice cream cone to the world.


'Drink A Bite to Eat at Ten, Two, and Four' c.1932
'Drink A Bite to Eat at Ten, Two, and Four' c.1932

Dr. Pepper and early Radio sponsorship

According to The Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, from 1910 to1914 Dr Pepper was identified with the slogan "King of Beverages" and "Old Doc". A typical country doctor character with monocle and top hat became the Dr Pepper trademark character in the 1920's and 1930's. During that era, research proved that sugar provided energy and that most humans experience an energy 'letdown' most normal days at 10:30a.m., 2:30p.m. and 4:30p.m. A contest was held for the creation of an ad using this new information. The winner of the ad campaign came up with the famous advertising slogan, "Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2, and 4." Dr Pepper's slogan in the 1950s was "the friendly Pepper-Upper," which led the brand into the 1960s, becoming associated with Rock 'n Roll on Dick Clark's American Bandstand TV show.

Our own 10-2-4 Ranch CD Art Label
Our own 10-2-4 Ranch CD Art Label
taken from the original 10-2-4 Ranch Transcription label

West Coast--and some East Coast--Golden Age Radio fans will remember 10-2-4 Ranch and 10-2-4 Time for their '10, 2, and 4' advertising spots for Dr Pepper. Dr. Pepper sponsored and syndicated the show, beginning as 10-2-4 Ranch then transitioning to 10-2-4 Time to provide broader popular appeal. Both shows were produced by Tracy-Locke-Dawson Co., Dallas, and recorded by Radio Recorders of Hollywood. At least 500 were produced and some 50 to 80 are still in circulation. Dr. Pepper also sponsored two other variety programs from the late 1930s through the 1940s: "Dr Pepper Parade" and 1939's "Dr. Pepper’s Treasure Hunt".

Al Pearce 'Fun Valley' Dr. Pepper Ad from 1943

Al Pearce 'Fun Valley' Dr. Pepper Ad from 1943

Dr. Pepper sponsored the "Fun Valley" program from 1943 through 1944 starring Al Pearce, Sundays for the Blue Network. Dr. Pepper later sponsored "Darts for Dough" from 1944 through 1947 over The Blue Network [ABC] and ABC after the American Broadcasting Corporation formalized its name change.


A Dr. Pepper Timeline

1885: Charles Alderton, of Waco, Texas invents Dr. Pepper, one of many carbonated flavors he 's concocted for the patrons of Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store. One mix in particular catches on: "I'll have a Waco," became a common request.

Late 1880s: Morrison himself coins the name Dr. Pepper, after a friend of his, Dr. Charles Pepper.

1891: With demand for the beverage rapidly outstripping supply, Alderton and Morrison are approached by Robert S. Lazenby, owner of the The Circle "A" Ginger Ale Company. Charles Alderton is not prepared to involve himself in a soft drink business, leaving Morrison and Lazenby to form the Artesian Mfg. & Bottling Company, which later became The Dr. Pepper Company.

1904: 20 million people attend the St. Louis World's Fair Exposition and are introduced to hamburger and hot dog buns, ice cream cones, and Dr. Pepper.

1899 - 1914: The slogans, "King of Beverages" and "Old Doc" begin to appear.

1920s - 1930s: Dr. Pepper's trademark character is a caricature of a monocled country doctor, complete with top hat.

1950s: The slogan, "The friendly Pepper-Upper," begins to appear.

Late 1950s: Owing primarily to typography of the era, the period is removed from "Dr. Pepper."

1960s: The slogan, "The most misunderstood soft drink," begins to appear.

1970s: The slogan, "The most original soft drink ever in the whole wide world," enters advertising copy for the first time.

1977: Dr Pepper undertakes its "Be a Pepper" campaign.

1986: 7-UP and Dr. Pepper merge.

May 1991: The Dr Pepper Museum opens.

1995: Cadbury Schweppes buys Dr Pepper and 7-UP.

2000: Dr Pepper's 105th Anniversary can design includes the initials IMK within a heart in memory of Mark Kloster's late grandmother, Iona Kloster.

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1911 spot ad calling attention to the removal of caffeine and cocaine from Dr. Pepper
1911 spot ad calling attention to the removal of caffeine and cocaine from Dr. Pepper

Dr. Pepper King of Beverages circa 1899
Dr. Pepper King of Beverages circa 1899

Dr. Pepper King of Beverages -- At fountains or in bottles circa 1902
Dr. Pepper King of Beverages -- At fountains or in bottles circa 1902

 Drink Dr. Pepper ''Good for Life'' circa 1952
Drink Dr. Pepper ''Good for Life'' circa 1952

Dr. Pepper  ''Drink A Bite to Eat'' circa 1953
Dr. Pepper ''Drink A Bite to Eat'' circa 1953

Dr. Pepper ''Pick your Energy Up'' circa 1956
Dr. Pepper ''Pick your Energy Up'' circa 1956

10 cent coupon for Dr Pepper six-pack, circa 1955
10 cent coupon for Dr Pepper six-pack, circa 1955

Dr. Pepper 'Enjoy Life More' sign circa 1954
Dr. Pepper 'Enjoy Life More' sign circa 1954



30's and 40's Era Green Glass Dr Pepper Bottles


Patriotic Dr. Pepper Ad Promoting War Rationing, c. 1944
Patriotic Dr. Pepper Ad Promoting War Rationing, c. 1944

Dr. Pepper ''Rush Three" standie from 1946
Dr. Pepper ''Rush Three" standie from 1946


Play Dr Pepper Parade from 1941

Play Dr Pepper's Fireside Phone Quiz from 1941

Play 10-2-4 Ranch with Martha Mears

Play 10-2-4 Time - Jingle Bells


Need More" Try these links to learn more about Dr Pepper Advertising


The Dr Pepper Museum
The Unofficial Dr Pepper Page
Visit the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company
Take a Tour of The Official Dr Pepper Website
The Snapple Group Dr. Pepper Page
The Snopes Dr. Pepper Page
The Dr Pepper Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) Page
'Pepper Place' History
Dr Pepper at the Waco History Project
Dr Pepper artifact may reveal soft drink’s origin (A.P. article)