The history of 7-Up soda
7-UP Bottling Company of Bakersfield Adds Further Strength to the Enviable Industrial Structure of This Metropolis
Its New, Beautiful and Pretentious Building, 230 East Eighteenth Street, Heralds to the World Bakersfield’s Progress; 7-UP Is a Delicious, Health-Promoting Beverage Recognized for Its Flavor, Purity and “Zip”; a Solution to the Hostess’ Problem
By R Kenneth Evans
When one drinks a refreshing bottle of 7-UP this Christmas day — or any day in the week — and experiences the relaxation and exhilarating effect that comes from no other similar drink, he can thank the 7-UP Bottling Company of Bakersfield, Inc., for the privilege of this experience.
7-UP — not given this name because it is only seven years old, but because it is one of the finest health-promoting carbonated drinks known to the bottling industry. The company is the newest acquisition to Bakersfield’s industrial structure, with its imposing and handsome building, 230 East Eighteenth street, representing an investment of more than $200,000.
It has brought to this city the distinction of being the home of the finest flavored 7-UP bottled In the nation — attested, to by a nationally-known chemist — and 7-UP is bottled in almost every locality in the United States.
Today, delicate china, gleaming crystal, snowy linens and “gay talk” all suggest 7-UP. At the perfectly planned party the hostess serves this delightful, exhilarating beverage.
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 history of 7-Up soda: Only seven years old
7-UP was originated by a chemist for the Howdy Company of St Louis, Mo., seven years ago. It was brought to Kern county two years ago in bottles, processed in a Los Angeles plant and distributed by truck transportation. Because everything in 7-UP comes to the public with ingredients as nature produced them, not artificially colored, flavored or preserved, it was given a universal acceptance from the beginning, two years ago, which, prompted the establishment of this industry as a home institution.
The plant as it stands today is recognized as the best-planned bottling plant in the western section of the United States. Not the largest, perhaps, but the most efficient, having a floor space of more than 16,000 square feet. The building, two stories in height, of concrete construction, is strictly modern in every detail and the appearance enhanced by beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding it.
Offices, bottling equipment and storage space are on the ground floor level while the mixing laboratory, isolated for sanitation, is on the second floor. On this floor is also a public auditorium, well planned for environment and available to Bakersfield civic service clubs and individuals for private meetings.
Well-planned utility room
The basement is one of the best-planned utility’ rooms to be found in an industrial plant. Here are located the water filters, air conditioning units, water pumps with a battery of electrical controls that governs the entire operations of the plant. The loading stages are sufficiently large to accommodate four of the attractively decorated 7-UP trucks at one time.
The bottling rooms on the main floor are of tile construction with, stainless steel throughout. From the moment the processing operations start to the bottles in the cases, they are not touched by human hands, every operation being automatic. In the mixing laboratory, after every operation, the entire room is thoroughly sterilized from the standpoint of ultra-sanitation.
Superlatives are not necessary in explaining the beauty, efficiency and environment conducive of acceptance of the product, from the standpoint of its processing. To say that it is as near perfect as creative genius can make it should suffice.
From August 25, 1939Carbonic gas, an element found in approximately all foods, gives to 7-UP its zest and sparkle. Carbonic gas, as a fixed gas, was discovered by an English scientist in the sixteenth century.
Water bubbling from the ground, containing natural carbonic gas, has been responsible for the founding of the world’s leading spas. The same contribution to health has been accomplished, scientifically, by the bottling of this beverage. From a food measurement, it has more calories than many vegetables such as cabbage, turnips, tomatoes, rhubarb and even more than are contained in buttermilk and oysters.
Inverted sugar, another ingredient in 7-UP, is a food that is the best for quick energy. It might be termed as a lithiated soda — a lithiated lemon soda that has no equal — thorough in its purpose as contributing to health; its smacking tingle has a well-defined place in any social gathering.
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. The reagent — in a powder form — is truly the secret of 7-UP formula, supplied with each shipment of the syrup. In the finished drink this powder reacts to any bacteria that might, accidently, exist, and at the same time adds sparkle. . . !
Strange as it seems, Bakersfleld city water is used in the manufacture of 7-UP. Two reasons warrant the use of this water. One is that Bakersfleld water is known, far and -wide, for its taste, and second, carbonic gas blends more readily with it than any other water used in experimenting.
Not satisfied with this safety in water, it is also submitted to a rigid filtration process through the latest improved Hydro-Darco filtering plant. The process, recognized as thorough elimination of any foreign matter, is scientific in every respect,
Carbonated beverages are, by no means, new. Realizing that science has perfected machinery that is a far cry from those originally used, the 7-UP Bottling Company of Bakersfield, Inc., has installed the new Cem method of saturating the water with carbonic gas.
By this natural absorption method, the water in the reservoir is always uniformly saturated and lies in a quiet, unagitated condition making it favorable for filling purposes. All of this equipment is of stainless steel, with a few pieces of nickel silver. This Cem system of saturation gives a champagne-like carbonation.
An automatic, perfectly synchronized machine which does the work of washing, brushing, and rinsing of bottles in one continuous motion is used in this plant.
Over 32 years of research are behind the perfection of this trustworthy machine, manufactured by the George J Meyer Company of Milwaukee, Wis. The importance of using absolutely clean, sterile bottles was responsible for installation of this machine. It is composed of a combination of immersion tanks, double brush conveyors and a progressive washing unit. Bottles are never touched by human hands after being placed on the loading rack for process through this machine.
Emphasizing the industrial aspect and value of this new plant in Bakersfield is that it maintains an annual payroll running into many thousands of dollars. It is definitely a Bakersfield industry, giving regular employment to more than 20 trained people, headed by D K Washburn as president and, under, the intimate and direct management of A J Crocker. In the beginning, many looked with askance on Mr Washburn’s idea of developing an industry with one beverage as his product.
Top vintage 7up sign photo thanks to Edwin Brinkhuis