Category: Food, snacks and beverages

7-Up in Bakersfield


Image: Circa 1940 photo of 7-Up Bottling Company 18th and Sonora Street, Bakersfield. Photo source unknown.

“Like an artist, who first sees the picture in his mind’s eye and transfers it to the canvas, D W Washburn envisioned this bottling plant in Bakersfield as one most completely equipped, for the purpose of bottling only one beverage. Months of thought and preparatory work went into the planning. The plant was formally opened to the public June 14, 1939.

“The 7-UP extract Is manufactured by the Seven-Up Company of St Louis, Mo. Lemons and limes of the finest quality are used in its preparation. In all instances government supervision safeguards its purity and aromatic content.

“Pure cane sugar is used exclusively and, the Braun Corporation, a California industry, furnishes the citric acid required.”

Excerpts of December 23, 1939 Bakersfield Californian newspaper story from .


Image: 1939 newspaper ad from excerpt link above.

Online references show The Braun Corporation of 363-371 New High Street, Los Angeles, in the ‘teens and ‘twenties as a supplier of mining assay chemicals and equipment. It may have branched out to other chemicals such as citric acid by 1939 but it cannot be confirmed at this time.



First popular instant coffee


Image: 1939 UK ad in unspecified magazine from .

Nescafé was rolled out in UK and USA. It was first available in Europe a few years earlier. We couldn’t find a 1939 era U.S. ad.

Various kinds of instant coffee were developed as long ago as 1771. The process developed to make Nescafé in the late ’30s became widely popular because of taste improvement. Learn more at .

See more about Nescafé here: .



Image: detail of a Pepsi-Cola brochure from .

In 1939 Pepsi-Cola began using the “Twice as Much for a Nickel” slogan.*

“Walter S. Mack… used a court fight and an incessant radio jingle to transform the little-known Pepsi-Cola Co. into one of the nation’s two largest-selling soft-drink makers…

“Mack became Pepsi’s president in 1938, when the company was spun off from a New York candy maker, Loft’s Inc. At that time, Pepsi was selling a syrup developed by a North Carolina druggist at the turn of the century. But Pepsi made little headway against Coca-Cola until Mack took away Coke’s control of the name “cola” in a historic court battle.”

Excerpts from the 1990 obituary of Mack in the Los Angeles Times newspaper: .


An article about a Pepsi-Cola bottler promising to open in Santa Ana appeared in the Santa Ana Register newspaper on September 16, 1939.

* from . Click on the link to learn more about the company’s advertising strategy.

Acme beer


Image: 1940 Petty art

“In 1939 Acme commissioned George Petty (who had just left Esquire magazine) to paint three lithesome gals which were used for the 1940, ’41, and ’43 campaigns. These images were utilized in a number of different formats. They produced a 26″ and a 33″ wide, framed image for wall hanging; a 12″ wide, framed version on an easel for back-bar display; and a cutout window card that was 42″ long and easel mounted for window displays.”

Acme Breweries was a Los Angeles company.

Excerpt and image from . Click on the link to learn more.


Nesbitt’s orange drink


Image: 1939 27″ x 11″ metal sign.

“[Los Angeles based] Nesbitt Fruit Products Company was founded in 1924 by Hugh S. Nesbitt. The company produced syrups to be used in soda fountains. The company produced a full line of fountain products through the years…

“In 1927 the company began producing Nesbitt’s Orange for distribution to soda fountains where it was mixed with 5 parts water. When they started bottling it in 1938-39 it was distinguished by the fact that it was made from 10% California orange juice.”

Excerpts from . Click on the link to learn much more about the company and its products.

Currie’s ice cream


Interior view of Currie’s Ice Cream Parlor in Wilmington. Three employees stand behind the counter, waiting to serve customers. The shop offers several flavors of ice cream, sundaes, malts, and has ‘fountain specials’.  Image: Los Angeles Public Library.

“In Southern California, people still [2012] fondly remember the Currie’s chain and its “mile-high cone” whose replica was often displayed billboard-style on roofs.”

Excerpt and info on other ice cream parlors: