Hires To You headerThe Illustrated History of Hires Root Beer



Robert Edwin Peary reached the North Pole for the first time in recorded history.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded to advance justice for African Americans.

Henry Ford’s 19,051 Model T’s led the auto industry in production and sales.

New fashion and beauty standards evolved as women began driving automobiles.

4,916 U.S. soft drink bottling plants were in operation.  Per capita consumption was 16.2 bottles.

A pocket-sized, four page “Hires Offers 1909” brochure was published in late 1908 as part of Hires’ marketing preparations for 1909.  In addition to four separate offers based on the quantity of Hires Syrup purchased, Hires Steins were $2.00 per dozen, and a Hires Syrup Dispensing Jar was $10.00 “Equipped with the best syrup pump on the market.  Capacity one gallon.  Yours as long as you serve the genuine Hires Syrup out of it.” 

(Figure 1909-01, Hires Offers 1909 brochure)

(Figure 1909-02, Bulletin of Pharmacy magazine, January 1909)

Page 7 of the J. W. Edgerly & Company 1909 Catalog offered the Hires Munimaker priced at $150.00, a brass and nickel-plated holder for six syrup dispensing bottles (labeled Chocolate, Lemon, Vanilla, Pineapple, Orange, and Raspberry), a liquid gas outfit, and an oak counter with a marble top “sufficiently large to hold the ‘Munimaker’ and leave space for serving the drinks.”

(Figure 1909-03, J. W. Edgerly & Company Catalog, 1909)

(Figure 1909-04, Bulletin of Pharmacy magazine, April 1909)

 (Figure 1909-05, Bulletin of Pharmacy magazine, May 1909)

These three Munimaker advertisements also ran in the Bulletin of Pharmacy during 1909.  Note the pictured salesman’s sample Munimaker in the first example.

(Figure 1909-06, Bulletin of Pharmacy magazine, 1909)

This Bulletin of Pharmacy magazine advertisement boasted the Munimaker is “guaranteed to run right and last as long as any soda fountain…it will do what it is now doing for over 1000 present users and they all paid the same price.” 

(Figure 1909-07, Bulletin of Pharmacy magazine, 1909)

(Figure 1909-08, Bulletin of Pharmacy magazine, 1909)

The Story of Hires caption for the accompanying image reads “This photograph, taken in Fralinger’s, Atlantic City, in 1909, shows the original Hires Dispenser which inaugurated an entirely new way of serving and merchandising soft drinks.”  Several Hires cups are included in addition to a Hires Munimaker.  Fralinger’s Confectionery, an Atlantic City, New Jersey Boardwalk landmark, is known internationally for their famous salt water taffy.

(Figure 1909-09, Munimaker dispenser at Fralinger’s, Atlantic City, New Jersey)

The May 1909 National Bottlers’ Gazette carried these strong thoughts concerning “Tax on Sugar” written by Editor William B. Keller:

It may surprise our readers to know that the full duty on raw sugar is practically 80%...our National legislators have in their wisdom seen fit to impost on imported sugar one of the highest rates of duty provided for in the entire tariff schedule…While this food product pays of tariff rate of 80%, many articles of luxury are taxed at much lower rates.  Thus, costly furs pay only 35%; expensive feathers and trimmed hats, 50%; rare paintings and statuary, 20%; automobiles, 45%; and diamonds, 10%...These illustrations are sufficient to show that the principle of imposing taxes on those most able to pay them was not considered when the tariff schedule on sugar was adopted.

This hour glass-shaped, ceramic Hires syrup jar has a semi-automatic top pump and early graphics.  This jar was first introduced in late 1909 and was available until 1922. 

(Figure 1909-10, ceramic syrup jar, 13.5” high not including the pump)