“Yahoo Mountain Dew…It’ll tickle your innards.” Mountain Dew is one of the three best-named soft drinks of all time, the other two are tackled later in this brand love poem.
The name, the original graphics, the mascot, the product, the ad campaigns and the tagline have made an impression so lasting, that obsessed Dew fan chroniclers make Coca Cola collecting compulsives look slack by comparison. Today we honor that obsession by presenting, almost in its entirety and with added graphic, the following explanation from mountaindewbottles.com:
What is Mountain Dew? Is it the bottle or the drink inside the bottle? Who invented this popular drink and when?
In the early 1940′s, two brothers, Ally and Barney Hartman, were bottling a lithiated-lemon (“7-up” flavor) drink as a personal mixer for hard-liquor. They jokingly called the drink “Mountain Dew” after Tennessee Mountain Moonshine.
In 1946, as a continuation of the joke, Barney and Ally added a paper label (misspelled by the artist) to their mixer showing a hillbilly with a gun and a “by BARNEY and OLLIE” inscription. The bottle was taken to a convention in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and their friends convinced them that this was a marketable drink.
On November 12, 1948 the Hartman Brothers filed for and received a trademark on the now famous label – a professional redraw of the 1946 paper label. The flavor was still the 7-up type flavor originated by them in the 1940′s.
In 1951, Ally ordered the first ACL Mountain Dew bottle. The bottle was green glass with white paint (no red) showing a hillbilly shooting at a revenuer running from an outhouse. The bottle read “by BARNEY and ALLY”. Interestingly, when the bottles arrived they were put in a warehouse and not used till 1955.
In 1954, Charlie Gordon decided that Tri-City Beverage need to add a new flavored drink and contacted his old friend, Ally Hartman. Ally sold Charlie the very first franchise for Mountain Dew and Charlie became the first bottler to commercially sell Mountain Dew (remember, Ally had put his bottles into storage). The very first commercially available ACL Mountain Dew bottle was the “by CHARLIE – JIM and BILL” bottle. Charlie had his concentrate formulated at the Tip Corporation in Marion, VA.
In 1955, based on Tri-City Beverage’s success, Hartman Beverage pulled their bottles out of the warehouse and started bottling Mountain Dew commercially. Bill Kibler left Tri-City Beverage that year which left Charlie and his plant manager, Jim Archer. They produced another run of bottles that said “by CHARLIE and JIM”.
Also in 1955, two other brothers, RB (Richard or Dick) and Herman Minges worked out a deal with Ally Hartman and started bottling Mountain Dew at their Fayetteville, NC Pepsi plant. Along with their other brother Dean, the first Minges bottle (the fourth ACL Mountain Dew bottle) was produced under the “by DEAN and DICK” label.
In 1957, Herman left the Fayetteville Pepsi Plant to start a new Pepsi plant in Lumberton, NC with his father LL Minges. They put out the fifth Mountain Dew Bottle – “by HERMAN & L.L.”.
In August of 1957, the Tip Corporation was purchased by five men: Bill Jones (it’s current President), Ally Hartman, RB Minges, Herman Minges and Wythe Hull. Wythe was a Marion, Virginia Pepsi bottler, but he never produced Mountain Dew since Charlie Gordon had that territories franchise.
On November 30th, 1957 Ally Hartman sold Mountain Dew to the Tip Corporation.
In 1959 Bill Bridgforth became the plant manager of Tri-City Beverage in Johnson City, Tennessee and worked with Bill Jones to develop a lemonade flavored drink called Tri-City Lemonade. The concentrate is produced by the Tip Corporation.
In 1960, Bill Bridgforth moved his Tri-City Lemonade flavor into the Mountain Dew Bottle which replacing [sic] the 7-up flavor. This new lemonade flavor is the flavor that is bottled as Mountain Dew today.
In 1962, Herman Minges also moves the Tri-City Lemonade flavor into his Mountain Dew Bottles to compete against a drink called SunDrop Cola.
On May 29th 1962 Tip grants it’s first franchise to Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Kinston, NC. Kinston orders the “by HOYT MINGES” bottle.
On September 2nd 1964 Pepsi purchases the Tip Corporation and as such the Mountain Dew Flavor.
In 1965, Pepsi announces the “Yahoo Mountain Dew…It’ll tickle your innards” campaign. The Mountain Dew bottle is redesigned, Willy the hillbilly (named after Willy Mcfalls) is redesigned and names are no longer allowed on the bottles. Up until this point about 174 different named bottles had been produced. However, many named bottles were still produced after 1965. Refer to the complete history for details.
For those of you still thirsting for more, we found a different site that features The Master List of Named Mountain Dew Bottles. Whew! Fortunately, far less is known about the 7-Up name. From infoplease.com:
The popular lemon-lime flavored soft drink was created by Charles Leiper Grigg in 1929.
His fist name for the new soda was “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.” That became “7-Up Lithiated Lemon-Lime,” before Grigg settled on simply “7-Up.”
According to the official web site of 7-Up, which has been a product of the Cadbury Schweppes Company since 1995, there are several theories about how Grigg came up with the unusual name.
Here are the most plausible stories.
- He named it after a cattle brand he saw that looked like a “7 Up.”
- He thought of it while rooting for sevens during a game of craps.
- 7-Up has seven ingredients.
- The words “seven up” have seven letters.
- The original 7-Up bottle held seven ounces.
And lastly but thankfully, nothing is known of the origins of the name Orange Crush. A truly wonderful name that became a slang term for an infamous defoliant used in the Vietnam War, a nickname for the Denver Bronco’s defense, a song and, sadly, a mixed drink that contains no Orange Crush but rather Vodka, Triple Sec, Orange Juice and yes, 7up. But the pictures sure are pretty.
Ahhh… drink up!