Hires To You headerThe Illustrated History of Hires Root Beer

1903 

IT HAPPENED IN…1903

Commercial transatlantic wireless service was inaugurated, and Pacific communications cable operations commenced.  President Roosevelt sent a message around the world in 12 minutes.

McClure’s Magazine serialized muckraker Ida Tarbell’s expose of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company in 19 installments.

The House of Morgan labeled Henry Ford’s idea of building affordable motor cars for the average man “ridiculous,” so he raised $28,000 from local investors, founded and incorporated the Ford Motor Company, and began building autos.

Boston of the American League faced Pittsburgh of the National League in the first World Series.  Boston won five of the eight games.

Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved a 59 second airplane flight December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  Only three newspapers reported the event.

Newly introduced products included coat hangers, crayons, safety glass, and windshield wipers.

Cocaine was removed from Coca-Cola’s formula.  At the time, Coca-Cola contained approximately nine milligrams of cocaine per glass.

Cope and Ashmead profiled Charles E. Hires in Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Chester and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania.  Material for this subscription history was gathered during 1903 and published in 1904:

CHARLES E. HIRES, well-known throughout the United States as the manufacturer of Hires Root Beer, this industry being the most important in the borough of Malvern, Chester county, Pennsylvania, where he is at present operating a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar plant, is a descendant of a family whose homestead is situated near Shiloh, Cumberland county, New Jersey…Mr. Hires…at the present time gives employment to several hundred persons.  The work is under the personal supervision of Mr. Hires, whose knowledge, experience, and natural fitness for the production of a pure and healthful beverage are of untold value to his employees.  Mr. Hires is a director of the Merchant’s Bank of Philadelphia, ex-president of the Drug Exchange, and a member of the Manufacturers’ Club.  In politics he is a firm supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and in religion he is a strong adherent of the tenets of the Society of Friends.

 (Figure 1903-01, Scribner’s Magazine Advertiser)

(Figure 1903-02, magazine advertisement)

Hires’ 1903 offers to retail storekeepers included triangular pencils and Rogers brand silverware, plus a separate Hires window display contest with cash prizes paid in gold.

(Figure 1903-03, Hires Offer 1903, paper bi-fold, front and back)

(Figure 1903-03, Hires Offer 1903, paper bi-fold, inside pages)

(Figure 1903-04, The Youth’s Companion, April 16, 1903, and Cosmopolitan, May 1903)

(Figure 1903-05, The Minneapolis Journal, April 25, 1903, 2.0" x 2.0")

(Figure 1903-06, May 3, 1903)

The format and art used in 1902 (see Figure 1902-03) was re-used with revised copy for this magazine advertisement.

(Figure 1903-06.5, magazine advertisement)

(Figure 1903-07, Scribner’s Magazine, June 1903)

A series of hot weather advertisements ran during June, 1903.   

(Figure 1903-08, June 11, 1903)

(Figure 1903-09, June 18, 1903)

(Figure 1903-10, The Youth's Companion, June 25, 1903)

This foldable paper fan was another way Hires customers could beat the summer heat.

(Figure 1903-11, paper fan)

This grocery wholesaler’s preprinted invoice featured images of Hires Rootbeer and Hires Ginger Ale crown top bottles.  A subheading indicated “HIER’S (sic) CARBONATED BEVERAGES – SPARKLING, COOLING AND REFRESHING – PURE, WHOLESOME AND NUTRITIOUS.”  The illustrated example is discolored due to age.

(Figure 1903-12, C. C. Martin & Co. invoice, August 27, 1903)