Nesbitt's Logo

"Nesbitt's LogoName on a Soft drink is like STERLING stamped on Silver"

Facts Page

(Last update: December 16, 2011)

NOTE: This page is a work in progress. The author appreciates any additional information you may have regarding the history of Nesbitt's Orange.

Be notified of page updates

it's private

powered by
ChangeDetection

History

The Nesbitt Fruit Products Company was founded in 1924 by Hugh S. Nesbitt. The company produced syrups to be used in soda fountains. The company produced a full line of fountain products through the years including various fruit flavors to be mixed with soda water, toppings for ice cream, including chocolate, hot fudge, crushed pineapple and strawberrys, and, a hot chocolate base. They also marketed branded dispensers and other fountain supplies (see 1959 fountain list).

In 1927 the company began producing Nesbitt's Orange for distribution to soda fountains where it was mixed with 5 parts water. When they started bottling it in 1938-39 it was distinguished by the fact that it was made from 10% California orange juice. The brand was franchised to independent bottling companies all over the United States and around the world. Besides Orange, other flavors bottled included: Creme Soda, Grape, Strawberry, Root Beer, Lemon-Lime, to name a few. Nesbitt also made Sprig, a lemon lime drink.

The back of the bottles had the following slogan:

"Nesbitt's LogoName on a Soft drink
is like
STERLING stamped on Silver"

Nesbitt Fruit Products Company was sold to Clorox in 1972. The following is the Clorox Chronology:

July 1972: The Clorox Company acquires, in exchange for 161,894 shares of Clorox stock, Nesbitt Food Products, Inc. Nesbitt manufactures a variety of specialty food products for soda fountain service and operates a franchise bottling business for the consumer market.

March 1973: The Food Service Industries Group is organized and consists of five profit centers, including Nesbitt Franchise Bottling, which manufactures and markets a full line of fruit-flavored soft drinks through a network of more than 200 franchised bottlers.

April 1975: The Nesbitt Franchise Bottling operation is sold to Moxie Industries, Inc., of Atlanta, which acquires the exclusive right to sell carbonated beverages in retail markets under the Nesbitt brand name. Clorox Food Service Products Division continues to market food service and institutional concentrates, syrups and other specialty fountain products under the Nesbitt name.

July 1975: Independent contract manufacturers begin production of Nesbitt beverage concentrates, syrups and other specialty fountain products for Clorox Food Service Operations. The Nesbitt Franchise Bottling plant in Los Angeles is closed.

March 1976: The plant, land, machinery and equipment of Nesbitt Food Products, Inc., are sold.

June 1976: Nesbitt Food Products, Inc., is merged into The Clorox Company and ceases to exist as a separate company.

1999: Big Red, Ltd of Waco, Texas acquires Nesbitt's brands from the Monarch Company in Atlanta.

The Nesbitt's Trademark has had the following history since then:

1976 Assigned to RE-MI Foods, Elk Grove Village, IL
1988 Staley Food Service  Co.
1988 Assigned to Borden, Inc
1997 Trademark Renewed by Monarch Co, Atlanta GA

Currently, Nesbitt's is US trademark of:
North American Beverages, Ltd.

Waco, Texas  76712
(254) 772-7791
Fax:  (254) 772-2441

Nesbitt's International Trademark
New

Nesbitt's Logo

Monarch Beverages Nesbitts Facebook Page

Atlanta, GA


My grandfather, B. R. Murphy, joined the company in 1926 and became operations manager. He served as President from 1933-1938 while Mr. Nesbitt took a leave to work for Goebel Brewing in Detroit. He resumed the post in 1943 when Mr. Nesbitt died suddenly at the 1943 NACB Convention in St. Louis. He retired as President in 1959 and stayed on as Chairman of the Board until the company was sold to Clorox. Harry H. Minkey succeeded Mr. Murphy as President.

Click on the following links for some additional history:
Nesbitt’s Orange Soda: Bright Star Went Black, Now Twinkles Dimly
U.S. Government Alleged Base for Nesbitt’s Orange Adulterated
Nesbitt's Orange Wikipedia Page 


TRIVIA 

Marilyn Monroe was a model for Nesbitt's Orange in 1946.

Marilyn Monroe Ad
Click for larger view  added 1/1/2008

Nesbitt's Orange was the "Official Orange Drink" for Disneyland from the time it opened in 1955 into the 1960's. It was the only orange drink sold in the Park.

 Disneyland's Frontierland Nesbitts Soda Stand
Click for larger view
  added 1/1/2008

It is said that Elvis Presley loved Nesbitt's Orange. "He always had the weirdest eating habits I ever saw," a friend was quoted as saying at the time (1960's). "Burnt bacon, olives, vegetable soup and peanut-butter and banana sandwiches." He'd wash all this down with Pepsi or Nesbitt's Orange soda."(source link)

Nesbitt's was the sponsor of an early television show in Los Angeles called "Ricky and the Magic Trolley."  It was a puppet show that was done circa 1952-1953.  I remember going to the set with my grandfather when I was 6 or 7 years old along with my two younger sisters.  We went to do a live TV commercial with a couple of other kids who were the daughters of the Nesbitt ad agency guy.  It was in the same studio as "Space Patrol," one of my favorite TV shows at the time.  I was thrilled to sit in the cockpit of the space ship.  The Ricky puppet show set was raised off the floor so the pupeteers could stand up under it.  When I stood on a box and looked over the top edge of the set a real snake that was in a little pond on the set popped it's head up out of the water right in front of my face and I fell back off of the box.  That same night us kids did a live TV commercial for Nesbitt's.  On cue we were all supposed to take swig of Nesbitt's Orange and then say "uuum good."  I remember my sister blowing the cue by doing it too early.  I remember the images from that day vividly.  Click here to see postcards that were sent to fans who wrote the show. Thanks to Gary Frank for sharing these with me.

In 1957, the "Nesbitt's Orange Special" dragster set 1/4 Mile speed Record of 9.445 seconds (159.02 mph). It is believed that this was the first "commercially sponsored" dragster.


In 1987 the alternative band Negativland released a song called "Nesbitt's Lime Soda Song" about a man mourning the loss of the last bottle of Nesbitt's Lime Soda (he had to throw it away when a bee flew into the bottle). The song is on an album titled: "ESCAPE FROM NOISE" and is available at
http://www.negativland.com/  (added 05/24/2003).

Click on the link below to listen to the song:

Nesbitt's Lime Soda Song

(added 1/1/08 with permission of Negativland).

Click Here to Enter Memorabilia Album


Click Here to Return to Home Page

This page is maintained by Tom Scott, grandson of B.R. Murphy, President of Nesbitt Fruit Products Company from 1943 to 1959.

Mail your comments to:
tom@nesbittsorange.com