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Moxie Nerve Food bottle Moxie Nerve Food Paper Label and Crowncap Moxie ACL bottle
Moxie amber syrup jug
    The Moxie Nerve Food Company gave us MOXIE as our nations first mass marketed soft drink. Long before Coke and Pepsi, the country was singing "Just make it Moxie for mine" at the Great St. Louis Exposition. It was founded in Lowell, Mass. in 1884 by Dr. Augustin Thompson of Union, Maine. Originally Moxie was touted as a patent medicine guaranteed to cure almost any ill including loss of manhood and paralysis, and "softening of the brain". These claims were slightly revised with the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. By the early part of the century, the "Nerve Food" was carbonated, brilliantly merchandised and became a household word. Bottlers were opened all over the country. Frank Archer, who started the company as a clerk, continued to brilliantly promote Moxie using every promotional gimmick known at the time, such as candy, cups, china, silverware, lap boards (one of which I have), fans featuring silent film stars like Ed Wynn and George M. Cohan, and in the early 60s, even Ted Williams was a spokesperson for Moxie. 

     The beverage was strongly associated with amusement parks, dance halls and east coast resorts. In the late 20s, "Moxieland" was created in Boston, Mass, replacing the smaller Lowell Manufacturing facility, as well as an earlier Boston plant, and was successfully promoted as a tourist attraction. Almost overnight, Moxie became as famous as any Boston landmark.

     Increased sugar prices, along with increased competition primarily from Coke, caused Moxieland to close and the company later continued from its Needham Heights, MA location until the late 60s. Today it remains as it began, a New England beverage, under the ownership of the Armstrong family of the Monarch Corp, in Atlanta Ga. Moxie is still made in New England by a few bottlers and can be found in most local supermarkets.

     The early years saw a wealth of bottles, fountain glasses, trade cards and die cuts, as well as some very interesting tin signs. In the late 1890's, at least two different Baird clocks were produced. In 1917, the advertising campaign took a turn to the unusual when the Moxie Co. was granted a patent for an "ornamental design for an automobile" which was basically an automobile with a mounted dummy horse on it. The car was operated by a driver seated on the dummy horse. This "horsemobile" became the focal point of much of their advertising from that point on. The teens also brought an interesting series of hand held fans featuring pretty ladies of the day. These fans make an interesting collection. The Moxie Co. produced china dinnerware sets. These china pieces are desirable and sought after by collectors. There have been no calendars turning up over the years--even though the calendar was such an important advertising giveaway by so many companies.

     The rights to Moxie are owned by Monarch Beverages, Atlanta, Georgia. Sales of the Moxie brand are concentrated in the New England region of the US. Moxie and diet Moxie have unique taste profiles that do not have any true direct competition. For distributor information, call Monarch @ 1-800-251-3732.

Also, Moxie is available at The Soda Shop, in Original Moxie, Cherry Cola and Cream Soda.

  • Top Left: Moxie Nerve Food. Embossed w/part of paper label. "B4"

  • Top Middle: Close-up of the largest remaining portion of the paper label.
    Insert of crown shows picture of Augustin Thompson MD "Genuine Moxie Nerve Food"
  • Top Right: Moxie. 7oz. ACL w/embossing on shoulder. '62
    "Since 1884" "Original" "Enjoy a Lift...The Healthful Way"
    The Moxie Company, Needham Heights, Mass, Metropolitan Boston
  • Left: Moxie Fountain Syrup Gallon (amber)
Moxie Tin Diecut Match Holder Moxie Tin Cutout Sign 1908 Moxie Tin Sign 1911
  • Left:  Pre-1906 Tin Diecut Bottle Shaped Match Holder

  • Middle: Moxie Tin Cutout, approx. 1908, 9 3/4" X 12"

  • Right: Moxie tin sign, approx. 1911, 4 1/2" X 6 3/4"

More Moxie !!

     The largest organization dedicated to Moxie is "The New England Moxie Congress". The "Congress" is a group of enthusiastic collectors of Moxie memorabilia including Moxie advertising, company related documents, photos and postcards. The group also has amongst its membership historians who are dedicated to keeping Moxie alive for its part in American history. Membership is $5 a year, and includes a newsletter which has updates on Moxie events, auctions and information on collector gatherings.
     The annual Lisbon Falls, ME, "Moxie Days" celebration is held the second Saturday in July. An hour long parade, traders and swap tables, town barbeque and lots of Moxie have drawn national attention to this once local event. Frank Anicetti, owner of the Kennebec's Fruit Store/House of Moxie is the main force behind this event. He also has a catalog of Moxie items he sells from his store, shipping worldwide. You can reach Frank at his business number (207) 353-8173.
     A Florida business also ships Moxie. Soda Mania is located at 14603 Livingston Ave, Lutz, FL 33549, (813) 972-1784. They accept credit cards.
     The following day is the Annual Meeting of the New England Moxie Congress. This takes place at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME. "Congress" members get free admission to this event.
     For complete and detailed history of Moxie, read The Moxie Encyclopedia by Q. David Bowers. The Book of Moxie by Frank Potter is a good guide for collectors and dealers, with hundreds of color pictures.
     Learn to love Moxie!

moxiebottles.jpg (102151 bytes)
  • Above: Click on the thumbnail  to see the full image of the shelf of Moxie bottles.

  • Left: Moxie "Hutchison" bottle


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