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In 1916, Clayton J. Howell, president and founder of the Orange Crush Company, partnered with California chemist Neil C. Ward to incorporate the company. Ward, a beverage and extract chemist, perfected the exclusive formula that yielded the zesty, all-natural orange flavor of Orange Crush.
C. J. Howell was not new to the soft drink business, having earlier introduced Howell's Orange Julep. Soft drinks of the time often carried the surname of the inventor along with the product name. Because Howell had sold the rights to use his name, Ward was given the honors and Crush premiered as "Ward's Orange Crush."
Ward's Orange Crush success was remarkable. By 1918, it was available in Canada. Just eight years after introduction, Crush had established 1,200 bottlers through aggressive international expansion. In 1919, the Orange Crush Company commissioned artist Norman Rockwell to paint Crush print advertising for the leading magazines of the day.
In the 1920s, `30s and `50s, Crush advanced into South America, Europe, New Zealand and Africa. The history of Crush in Latin America created a powerful brand name with Hispanics, who grew up with the drink in their home countries.
The distinctive, patented Crush 7-ounce "Krinkly" glass bottle was used until 1955, when Crush International debuted its 10-ounce "Mae West" bottle. In 1993, Crush returned to glass with the introduction of the long neck packages.
Lemon Crush and Lime Crush were introduced in 1919 and 1920. Grape Crush was introduced in 1960, Cherry Crush in 1962 and Pineapple Crush in 1966.
In 1989, Cadbury Beverages acquired Crush USA, from Procter and Gamble. Cadbury Beverages revived the Crush flavor line tradition with colorful new packaging graphics and new Crush Tropical Punch and Crush Peach.
Today Orange Crush in the "Mae West" bottle is marketed through the Premier Brands unit of Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. Crush in cans is bottled through various bottling systems in the United States.
Above Left: Lime Crush Sign. 1920s. (N.
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