Hires Root Beer Bottleneck Labels

SKU: SOD1034 $1.00 USD

Historic Overview

This vintage root beer label dates back to the late 1960s and measures 4.25” Wide x 2” High. It features the classic Hires logo and went on the neck of the bottle. Known as “The Original Root Beer” Hires is one of the U.S.’s oldest soft drinks.


Charles Hires, a young pharmacist in Philadelphia, developed the recipe in 1876 and it debuted at the U. S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He was in good company since Bell’s telephone, Remington’s typewriter, and Heinz Ketchup were introduced at the same exposition. Legend says that he was trying to recreate a root tea he had on his honeymoon, but nobody knows for sure. Initially he created a powered tea, known as Hires Herb Tea, that was bagged and produced five gallons of drink. Soon after, he developed a carbonated version that became a non-alcoholic “root beer”. In 1884 he began distributing his drink in dispensers called “Hires Munimaker” that simultaneously mixed and dispensed the syrup and carbonated water. He received a patent for Hires Root Beer in 1876, but unfortunately lost the root beer name patent in 1879 when Congress passed a law that you could not register a dictionary word. The Charles E. Hires Company was incorporated in 1890 and bottles were first released in 1893. Charles had three sons that took over the business in 1925 when he retired. Hires Root Beer is owned today by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. of Plano, Texas.



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Quabaug Pure Spring Water Label
This fascinating label from the Quabaug Spring Water Company of North Brookfield, Massachusetts measures 3.5” Wide x 2” High and comes with quite a story. Back in the 1800s a wealthy businessman, T.C. Bates, decided to bottle the spring water from Quabaug Spring. He also spearheaded the installation of water pipes and a town reservoir in North Brookfield, which is about 20 miles from Worcester, Massachusetts. In those days it was common for shallow wells to become contaminated and the people got sick. T.C. sold his bottled water from a horse-drawn wagon throughout town. To expand he hired a New York advertising company who designed the labeling and featured King Phillip in the labels and advertising, absent from this label. Bates continued to run the company until his death in 1912. I found an interesting passage in the Annual report of the State Board of Health of Massachusetts from 1901 describing Quabaug Spring. “Situated in a small valley about 800 feet south of Bates Street. The water-shed is uninhabited except that there are two houses and a barn situated at a considerable distance from the spring which may drain towards it. Water is collected in a stone reservoir 10 feet square and 8 feet deep, situated in a bottling house. Water is pumped from the spring into a small wooden tank from which the bottles in which the water is distributed are filled. Sold in Worcester and Springfield.” Quabaug, by the way, means Red Water. I also found an old advertising booklet (see scans) for Quabaug Spring Water indicating that “It will improve your digestion, purify your blood, stimulate in many ways your whole system, and prove healthful, wholesome and life-giving.” What more can be said. WE GUARANTEE OUR LABELS TO BE AUTHENTIC AND AS DESCRIBED!

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