MOXIE: The history of Maine's official soda!
In the small town of Union, Maine on November 25, 1835 a little boy named Augstin Thompson was born. This boy grew up to be the inventor of one of the longest massed produce sodas in the country.
In 1876, Dr. Augustin Thompson unveiled a new patent medicine called "Moxie Nerve Food". It was said to cure everything from paralysis to softening of the brain. The secret ingredient was the extract from some "rare South American plant" discovered by his close friend LT. Moxie.
In, 1884 Dr. Thompson began adding soda water to his medicine and it was a hit. It was sold in bottles and in syrup form to the soda fountains of the day and was an instant hit. This drink was reported to be a favorite of President Coolidge, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox's was one of spokesman for the drink and E.B White, author of "Charlotte's Web" once said “Moxie contains gentian root, which is the path to the good life.” Gentian root is still one of the main ingredients for this soda. Maybe this was the rare South American plant that Lt. Moxie discovered.
However, in the 1930s this popular soda started a decline and is now only found primarily in New England. But, in Maine this soda is long standing icon. In May of 2005, MOXIE was designated as the official soda of Maine, and every July in the small town of Lisbon Falls "all things MOXIE" are celebrated during the Moxie Festival.
Even though this soda is now a regional product it's popularity and slogans were so widespread that during the 1920s the term moxie became a part of the American language. According to Dictionary.com moxie is defined as:
1. vigor; verve; pep. 2. courage and aggressiveness; nerve. 3. skill; know-how.
So if you ever tell someone that they have moxie you are honoring one of Maine's great native son's. And if you ever find yourself in Maine, try a MOXIE and experience the taste of Maine.
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