Our industry boasts a rich history - an industry born from modest roots not unlike many others in the turn of the century. Most of our industry's most popular soft drinks were developed in pharmacies by pharmacists or their chemists. Back near the end of the 1800s, pharmacies were the center of town - places where people gathered to socialize and get just about anything they might need: medicines, beauty products, personal care necessities and some refreshment.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Dr Pepper are just some of the world-renowned brands born from these humble beginnings through the benign desire of the local pharmacist to both refresh and entertain their customers with sodas. Coming up with new flavors or new concoctions helped keep folks coming back for the latest.

This past week, an interesting discovery was made pertaining to the roots and history of Dr Pepper. An Oklahoma man visiting antique stores in Texas came across a tattered old book filled with formulas. So he bought it, for $200. He later discovered the book came from the Waco, Texas, drugstore where Dr Pepper was invented. The book included a recipe titled "D Peppers Pepsin Bitters."

Dr Pepper spokesman Greg Artkop said the book does not contain the current recipe for Dr Pepper, the popular carbonated soft drink featuring 23 flavors that comprise its truly unique taste. After all, only three Dr Pepper employees know the exact formula for the soda, according to Greg.

Some speculate the recipe in the antique book may just be an early version of the soft drink, or simply a recipe for a bitter digestive developed for medicinal purposes by the pharmacist.

Regardless, the book provides a fascinating insight into the modest beginnings of an industry that is a part of Americana. An industry that emerged from the creativity of entrepreneurs running small pharmacies in small towns across America. For more information on the history of Dr Pepper, check out the Web site for the Dr Pepper Museum. (And see if you can find the reason there's no "period" after "Dr" in the product's name.) While you're at it, check out the Web sites for Coca-Cola and Pepsi to get more on their similar but unique beginnings.

Like we often tell you, we're a fun industry with a fun history full of fun stories that happens to make fun beverages meant to be enjoyed.