New Orleans-based World Bottling Company produced soft drinks during the first half of the 20th century, including a unique beverage called Dr. Nut. Dr. Nut had an intense almond flavor, similar to Amaretto liquor. They also bottled products called "Grape Fruit", "Lou Breese" and "Sweet Mandy", as well as a ginger ale.
The New Orleans City Directory first lists World Bottling Co. Ltd at 600 Elysian Fields Avenue at the corner of Chartres, with John G. Gomila as President and Dr. F. R. Gomila as Vice-President, and gives them the distinction of being "Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages".
In 1938, the city directory adds Frank Gomila as Secretary-Treasurer and the Vice-President changes to Bertha Gomila, who in the 1942 directory takes the role of President, with no vice-president listed. By 1947, Mrs. J. C. Gomila is shown as President of the company, with Dr. F. R. Gomila as Secretary-Treasurer, and an address change to 2121 Chartres.
In 1950, the New Orleans Telephone directory lists the World Bottling Company for the first time as "Bottlers of Dr. Nut". The company is also listed in the 1951 directory, however in 1952, the listing for the Chartres address is Marine Welding.
Dr. Nut does not appear in the New Orleans Telephone Directory again until 1963, in a listing for Wright Root Beer Co. of New Orleans, Inc., with a new address, identifying their products as "Wright Root Beer - Wright Flavors - Dr. Nut" and adds, "Originated in New Orleans to suit New Orleans Taste".
An article, which appeared in the
Times-Picayune in August of 1963, explains that a corporation headed by a Baton-Rouge man, Evans Howell,
had purchased the Royal Products Division of Washington Ice, Inc - Royal Products Company, the firm which bottled Wright Root Beer. Howell names the new company Wright Root Beer Company of New Orleans, Inc., with J. Parker Saussy as Assistant General Manager and Thomas Gibson as General Sales Manager.
During this time, a brief attempt was made to market Dr. Nut with a new cherry flavor similar to Cherry Coke, but this did not go well with fans of the original flavor, and it was discontinued shortly after its introduction.
By 1967, Wright Root Beer disappears from the New Orleans Telephone Directory, as well as the City Directory.
It was not until ten years later, this time in Jennings, Louisiana, that Dr. Nut reappears, with a new logo and
design [above], filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office to the Bayou Bottling Inc Corp. by merger on October 7, 1977 and registered October 16, 1979. Dr. Nut Lite followed a year later, filed on November 8, 1978 and registered December 30, 1980. The registration of Dr. Nut Lite was cancelled on May 15, 1987 and the Dr. Nut trademark was cancelled December 23, 2000. The US Patent and Trademark Office list both as "dead".
Two "live" trademarks for the text "Dr Nut" are still on file from December 28, 1979, with a registration date of August 4 and July 28 of 1981 to Dr. Nut Inc. Corporation, PO. Box 149, Jennings, Louisiana.
Bottled by the World Bottling Company of New Orleans, the original 7-ounce ACL used the text trademark in red letters on a white background until the new
yellow logo was introduced in 1977 [third illustration from top]. These bottles included the phrase, "It's delicious" under the
name [first illustration from top], although there have been some examples from Pacific Soda Works, in Oregon City, Oregon with the slogan, "It's A Food - Not a
Fad" [second illustration from top]. These bottles fall in the $20-30 range, depending on condition.
Early Dr. Nut advertising featured a man on the beach, dressed only in half a nutshell as a bathing suit, with a squirrel as his
companion [fifth illustration from top]. Characters dressed as this comical figure were a common feature of New Orleans' Mardi Gras parades. "All Out for Dr. Nut".
Later, in the 40s, Dr. Nut was better dressed in a checked suit wearing a monocle and a straw hat with his squirrel on a leash, as he drank from his bottle of Dr.
Nut [seventh illustration from top]. One of Dr. Nut's straw hats even turned up on eBay. Signs included slogans, such as "The Sure Cure for Thirst" and "Try Dr. Nut - The Professional Mixer", as well as matchbooks and other advertising. The whistle simply says, "Calling Dr.
Nut" [sixth illustration from top].
Dr. Nut also sponsored a softball team in New Orleans, which won the Championship in 1947 and posed for the local newspapers in their Dr. Nut uniforms and ball caps.
Dr. Nut also came in cans, the earlier versions were similar to the red and white logo bottles. In 1977, a new design of the can was made to match the
bottle [left]. The new bottle was smooth and 10-ounce in size. The squirrel still had its place on the shoulder of the bottle, but this time in a yellow circle, to match the yellow letters above the added feature of a walnut. Signs and other advertising of this period are also yellow letters on a white
background [ninth illustration from top].
Where is Dr. Nut now? You can find the occasional piece on eBay. An example of the whistle was listed for $9.99, and one of the wooden bottle crates sold for $40. A few signs and other advertising pieces also turn up from time to time, with varying prices according to their age and condition.
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