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The History of Mountain Dew

By Sharon Stajda

In the late 1940s Mountain Dew was being produced out of the Hartman Beverage Company of Knoxville, Tennessee. Mr.Allie Hartman, owner of the beverage company, claimed the recipe was that of his brother. Although Hartman felt his brotherís lemon lime soda would be a big seller, the Dew didn't catch on as he had hoped. In fact, it sat on retailersí shelves, and little revenue was generated.

In 1958, Mr. Bill Jones - a well known soft drink supply salesman - acquired a company by the name of Tip Corporation, located in Marion, Virginia. He hence became the President of the corporation. Mr. Jones was not a wealthy man, and he was forced to take on investors to further promote his venture. The first investors were Allie Hartman, Knoxville, Tennessee owner of the Hartman Beverage Company, and Pepsi Cola bottlers Herman Minges of Lumberton, North Carolina; Richard Minges of Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Wythe Hull of Marion, Virginia. Some of these first investors were long time friends of Jones, from the days he had spent as a supply salesman.

It was rumored that Jones acquired the name for Mountain Dew at a dinner with Allie Hartman. Hartman was said to want to donate the recipe and name, on behalf of his brother to the newly formed Tip Corporation. But, it was said that Jones was not happy with the gesture, and offered to purchase the dinner that evening for the rights to the name and recipe of Mountain Dew.

If this is to be believed, the trademark for Mountain Dew, one of today's most valuable trademarks, along with the recipe for the soft drink, sold for a mere $6.95 dinner check.

At the same time as Mountain Dew was making its way into the soft drink market, Pepsi Cola Company was launching its new lemon lime soda, Teem. The majority of Tip Corporation customers were Pepsi bottlers, and remained faithful to their parent Company. They sold the new Teem, instead of Mountain Dew. This lead to a rock-solid start for the newly formed Tip Corporation.

Jones decided to tweak the Mountain Dew recipe to give it a more orange flavor, so that the drink would not compete with Pepsi's Teem. Jones began testing different formulas. He added a bit of orange flavor, which seemed to make the drink a stand-out among the other lemon lime sodas presently on the market. The employees at the Marion Pepsi plant where the Mountain Dew drink was being bottled, were the first to sample the new and improved Mountain Dew soda. With its unique tangy taste, the new Mountain Dew flavor was a big winner!

The new recipe for Mountain Dew was then test-marketed on the public, and was deemed a huge success.

Mountain Dew was purchased in 1964 by the Pepsi Cola Company, from the Tip Corporation for what remains a rumored $6 million dollar plus sale.

Mountain Dew continues to remain one of America's favorite soft drinks, and is well loved over the world.

The drink has spun off a large variety of collectables, such as the different varieties of bottles that were used over the many years to bottle Mountain Dew, as well as advertising signs and memorabilia.

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