Hires To You headerThe Illustrated History of Hires Root Beer



President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inaugural address included “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and he soon started his “fireside chat” radio broadcasts.  The change of administration deepened the economic crisis and bank holidays were declared, but by the end of March over 75% of all banks were operating again.  The Banking Act of 1933 establishing the Federal Bank Deposit Insurance Corporation.  Numerous farm aid acts were passed as farm price levels continued to fall.

The Tennessee Valley Authority was established to control flooding, institute reforestation of marginal lands, and provide rural electrification.

Average life expectancy was 59 years, a gain of 10 years since 1900.

The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted and Prohibition was repealed.  President Roosevelt reportedly said “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”

Newly introduced products and inventions included drive-in movie theaters, walkie-talkie radios, Windex, comic books, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, and Ritz crackers.

Newly introduced soft drinks included Ju’Cy Orange, Par-T-Pak, Upper 10, and Mission Orange.

6,728 U.S. soft drink bottling plants were in operation.  Per capita consumption was 33.1 bottles.

Hires introduced the “Your Guarantee of Real ROOT JUICES” slogan during 1933.

(Figure 1933-01, embossed tin sign, 30.0” x 47.0”, surface weather damage)

This metal display rack with scissor hinges was designed for use on store counters.  It held a dozen cartons of Hires Extract.  Note the mirror incorporated into the unit.

(Figure 1933-02, metal display rack for Hires Extract cartons)

The “Your Guarantee of Real Root Juices” slogan was also added to the 1933 Hires Extract carton inserts.

(Figure 1933-03, Hires Extract carton insert, front)

(Figure 1933-03, Hires Extract carton insert, back)

This one gallon, 9.75" high, 5.75" wide, 4.0" deep Finished Syrup tin includes the slogan “R-J YOUR GUARANTEE OF REAL ROOT JUICES.” 

(Figure 1933-04, one gallon Hires R-J Root Beer Finished Syrup tin)

Once again Hires returned to using artist’s renderings of beautiful, young women.

(Figure 1933-05, Collier’s, May 13, 1933 and Saturday Evening Post, June 4, 1933)

The same young woman’s image was also used for this 11.0" x 6.0", die-cut, cardboard, easel-backed, counter or window sign.

(Figure 1933-06, die-cut, cardboard, easel-backed, counter or window sign)

This three-part, die-cut, cardboard festoon features the same young woman and has been framed under glass to preserve and display it.  Unfortunately the best image currently available includes reflections in the glass of the photographer, lighting, and items on the wall behind the photographer.

(Figure 1933-06.5, die-cut, cardboard festoon, 18.0" x 53.0")

Here's another in a series of Hires advertisements featuring attractive young women.

(Figure 1933-07, Collier’s and Saturday Evening Post, July 15, 1933)

The same young woman’s image was re-used for this 14.0" x 9.0", die-cut, cardboard, easel-backed, counter or window sign.

(Figure 1933-08, die-cut, cardboard, easel-backed, counter or window sign)

Noted American artist Bradshaw Crandell illustrated this advertisement.

(Figure 1933-09, Saturday Evening Post, May 27, 1933)

The same Bradshaw Crandell-drawn young woman with a glass of Hires R-J Root Beer was posed with several bottles stored in a cooler for this 14.0" x 7.0" die-cut, cardboard, easel-backed counter or window sign.

(Figure 1933-10, die-cut, easel-backed, cardboard counter or window sign)

This poster features an illustration drawn by Rolf Armstrong.  According to Rick & Charlotte Martin, co-authors of their excellent 1997 volume, Vintage Illustration - Discovering America's Calendar Artists, "Still considered today the undisputed 'father' of glamour girls and pin-ups, Rolf Armstrong's influence shows in the work of every pin-up artist that came after him.  Often imitated, his vision of female beauty and glamour is unparalled in the pin-up calendar world." 

(Figure 1933-11, cardboard poster, 26.25” x 39.5”)

Although Hires had introduced the R-J logo, district offices were still using their existing supply of company invoices printed in 1931.  This example documents the sale of 10 dozen 16 ounce Hires steins priced at $4.00 per dozen, and then discounted 20% and another 2% for paying cash, for a total of $31.36 or just over $ .26 per stein! 

(Figure 1933-12, Hires invoice, June 2, 1933, form printed in 1931)