“Don’t commit suicide by drinking city water”
Most Canadians have sipped on Canaday Dry Ginger Ale at one point or another in their lives. In our household it was a staple for when you were nauseous. Mom would give us a glass of it and we’d sip it to feel better (and we did). These days I don’t keep soda in the house but if I did, this would be it!
Developed by a chemist/pharmacist in 1890 by the name of John McLaughlin, this soda was intended to be the non-alcoholic alternative to champagne…and it was dubbed the “champagne of ginger ales” by McLaughlin’s wife, Maude..
McLaughlin’s soda enjoyed instant success.
January 18 was the launch of this new product . But the sale of ginger ale was not the biggest part of McLaughlin’s success. Where soda had only been sold in drugstores and pharmacies before, McLaughlin bottled and marketed his product where he could access crowds, ie. ballparks, beaches, etc. This truly played a big part in the success of the drink.
His product also became popular through the use of marketing where he developed ads comparing drinking city water to committing suicide (would that make you drink more soda??)
During Prohibition this drink became even more popular through the praise of teetotalers (or temperance activists) who praised it as a substitute for alcohol. However, some found that it worked great to mask alcohol (spiked ginger ale). Thus the sale of ginger ale benefited greatly on both sides of the border during the ‘30s.
The company was sold in 1923 after McLaughlin’s death and his son’s lack of interest in running the company.
Torontoist, JAMIE BRADBURN, http://torontoist.com/2012/11/toronto-invents-canada-dry/, November 21, 2012
Canada Dry Motts online, http://www.canadadrymotts.ca/brands/canada-dry/
Canada Channel online, http://canadachannel.ca/canadianbirthdays/index.php/John_J._McLaughlin,
Canada Channel online, Today In Canadian History, http://canadachannel.ca/todayincanadianhistory/index.php/January_18