Hires To You headerThe Illustrated History of Hires Root Beer



President James Garfield was mortally wounded July 2nd.  He died September 19th and was succeeded by Vice President Chester A. Arthur.

Tennessee enacted the first “Jim Crow law,” segregating blacks and whites, with “separate but equal” accommodations for blacks, who were considered second-class citizens.

The Supreme Court ruled the federal income tax law of 1861 was unconstitutional.

Manufacturers, mining companies, logging firms, and others constructed company-owned communities complete with stores, schools, churches, and other activity centers.

There were no sanitation regulations for food processing and selling.  During 1881, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York passed the first pure-food laws in the U.S.

Advertising agencies began providing specialist services, revolutionizing the way manufacturers presented consumers goods in newspapers and signs.  Advertising was moving away from the corrupt hucksterism typical of early practitioners.

An efficient cigarette-rolling machine replaced rolling by hand, like cigars.

Famous outlaw Billy The Kid was shot and killed by lawman Pat Garrett in New Mexico Territory.

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone, Arizona

American Carbonator and American Bottler, a soft drink industry trade journal, was founded in New York City.

The Cliquot Club Company began operations in Millis, Massachusetts.

Expanding his marketing activities, Hires placed the following magazine advertisement:

(Figure 1881-01, The Youth’s Companion magazine, page 276, July 28, 1881)

Not missing an opportunity to advertise, here’s an example of a Hires mailing envelope circa 1881:

(Figure 1881-02, mailing envelope)

Expanding his advertising into the usage of signage, this beautiful paper sign has unusual graphics.  In addition to the “Wholesome and Temperate” slogan and picturing a Hires Improved Root Beer Package, note the addition of a full glass of root beer complete with foam, plus three full, corked bottles of root beer with paper labels marked “Hires.”

(Figure 1881-03, paper sign, 9.0” x 18.0”)

Charles E. Hires Company sales for 1881 were listed as 13,680 bottles.