William H. Jones
(my grandfather, and inventor of Mountain Dew)


Back in 1997, I said I would start putting up old newspaper stories about my grandad and Mountain Dew, and I put up three stories. I said I would put up more as I got time. Well, now, almost two years later, I found myself sitting at home bored on a Friday night... so here are some more stories. Right now, this is all I have. My mom has some others, but she only has one copy of each of them so I will have to type them in at some point when I visit her. I've scanned some photos in so that there is one photo per article page whenever I could. If anyone else finds copies of articles on Mountain Dew that they would like to see here, please get me a copy (even a Xerox copy) and I'll get them posted here.

No, before you ask, I don't get free Mountain Dew or anything like that. Tip, the company my grandfather worked for when Mountain Dew was invented, sold all the rights to Mountain Dew to Pepsi in the 1960's. Only way I get it is just like you, going to the store.

The short version of my grandad's story is that he was working for a small soft-drink company based out of Marion, VA called the Tip Corporation. A company from Tennessee gave the Tip Corp their recipe for an unsuccessful whiskey mixer named Mountain Dew as part of an investment in the company. My grandfather tinkered with the recipe, tried to market it, and failed. He then tried again, and the rest is history. In 1994, Marion was officially named the "Home of Mountain Dew" by the Pepsi Corporation and Virginia Governor George Allen.

"Mountain Dew dripped here First" by Hank Hayes, from the Blountville, TN Business Journal February, 1994. Article claims Charlie Gordon invented Mountain Dew. His company did sell a beverage called 'Mountain Dew,' but it was not the Mountain Dew that was sold to Pepsi. According to the Elledge article below, Gordon had a right to distribute Mountain Dew, but did not have any sort of copyright.

"Town of Marion recognizes 'Home of Mountain Dew'" by Glenna Elledge, from the Smyth County NEWS, 7/27/94. A long article (three pages in the newspaper.) Covers in high detail the story of Mountain Dew from the early 1940s until the 1960's, and the Tip Corporation. Regarded as the definitive article on the Mountain Dew story.

Advertisement from the 7/27/94 Issue of the Smyth County NEWS

"The Thomas Edison of Mountain Dew is Getting His Due" by Lisa Singhania, from the Wall Street Journal, 7/28/94. I'm still typing this one in... give me a few days, ok? Anyway, this was a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal that discussed the upcoming events in Marion and presenting the story of all those who felt they had a claim to being the inventor of Mountain Dew.

"Marion Stakes Claim to Soft-Drink Lore" by Paul Dellinger, from the Roanoke Times & World-News, 7/31/94. It talks about the Mountain Dew story, and also discusses a bit about the origins of Dr. Pepper.

"Soft drink finally gets its Dew from small Virginia town" by Larry Maddry, from the Virginian-Pilot & Ledger Star, 8/6/94. It's basically a summary of the events that occurred in Marion the previous weekend. Unfortunately, there are no pictures in this story.


I have gotten several e-mails asking about various old Mountain Dew bottles and if I could give any more information on them. Most of these old bottles were from the older versions of Mountain Dew before my grandfather started working on it (IE not the version sold to Pepsi.) Wayne Burgess has a Mountain Dew Bottle Collectors Home Page which discusses the history of some of these bottles.
 
I did find a couple of pictures of Mountain Dew bottles, thanks to David Ivey at his sodafountain.com website. Lots of interesting information, including a page on Mountain Dew. I have never seen a bottle like the one at left before, but several people in my family have bottles like the one on the right.

"Mountain Dew" is a registered trademark of the Pepsi Corporation, used here without permission.

Here are some links to other Mountain Dew related pages (Courtesy of Yahoo!).

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Fred Fredericks
Last Modified: April 4, 1999