Hires To You headerThe Illustrated History of Hires Root Beer

1977 

IT HAPPENED IN…1977

The U.S. experienced a high trade deficit due to oil imports, the falling value of the dollar, and 7% unemployment.  The Dow Jones average fell over 165 points during the year.

The Food and Drug Administration proposed a total ban on saccharin when testing indicated the artificial sweetener might be carcinogenic.  Consumer opposition and industry lobbying led to saccharin being sold as an over-the-counter drug while the ban was postponed for 18 months pending additional testing.

Elvis Presley died August 16th at age 42.

Newly introduced products and inventions included MRI scanners, PC modems, RCA’s VHS-based video recorder, and the SIMON game.

2,164 U.S. soft drink bottling plants were in operation.

Crush International Inc. added ice cream to the Hires product line during 1977.

(Figure 1977-01, cardboard ice cream carton)

(Figure 1977-02, rectangular paper sign, 3.5" x 14.0")

Labeling on this can of Sugar Free Hires Root Beer, an “ARTIFICIALLY SWEETENED DIETARY CARBONATED BEVERAGE,” includes the Food and Drug Administration mandated statement that “USE OF THIS PRODUCT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH.  THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS SACCHARIN WHICH HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO CAUSE CANCER IN LABORATORY ANIMALS.”  This wording was required in order to comply with the Saccharin Study and Labeling Act of 1977.

(Figure 1977-03, Sugar Free Hires Root Beer can)

(Figure 1977-03.5 Hires Root Beer glass mug with white ACL, 4.5" tall

The labeling on this crown cap also indicates Diet Hires Root Beer contained “0.003% SACCHARIN, NON-NUTRITIVE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS WHICH SHOULD BE USED ONLY BY PERSONS WHO MUST RESTRICT THEIR INTAKE OF ORDINARY SWEETS.”

(Figure 1977-04, Diet Hires Root Beer crown cap)

Dick Young, an avid collector of Hires memorabilia, contacted Crush International Inc. in 1977 and convinced them to grant him a license to create a three-dimensional figurine of the Hires Boy.  The completed figurine was made of white plaster of Paris.  Only two of the figurines were ever produced.  The accompanying illustration shows the sole surviving example that now resides in a collection along with a letter of authenticity dated October 12, 1977.

(Figure 1977-05, Hires Boy figurine, 5.5” tall)