Dr. Pepper Bottling Company

Interiors by Gravelle

“Enjoy the helpful, wholesome habit of 3-a-day at 10, 2 & 4 o’clock!” So urged an advertisement for Dr. Pepper upon the soft drink’s official arrival in Reno in 1939. The promotional blitz (with its somewhat questionable nutritional advice) accompanied the opening of a new plant specifically constructed to produce the popular beverage.

This single-story brick building at 1047 (later renumbered 1049) South Virginia Street contained everything needed for manufacture and distribution. Its 6,000-square feet included a complete water purifying outfit, an automatic bottling operation, and an ample warehouse for storage. The machinery had a capacity to fill 1,800 bottles per hour.

Chris Weske employed eight people at the plant, which he sold in September 1941 before leaving Reno to join the Navy in San Francisco. The fledgling business did not survive the war. By 1944 the building housed Ray’s Auto Body Works and it later served as the economy store for the adjacent Nevada Home Furnishers.

Beginning in 1950, the building was associated with William Gravelle, first as the home of Sellman and Gravelle Upholstery, and then Interiors by Gravelle, his furniture business. A Las Vegas native, Gravelle became a pillar of Reno’s business community, even serving for a time on Reno City Council. The Melting Pot World Emporium moved into the building in 2006.

Images

A taste-exciting thrill!

A taste-exciting thrill!

An advertisement published on November 25, 1939 touted the arrival of Dr. Pepper in Reno, promoting the many benefits of its consumption. Image courtesy of the Nevada State Journal View File Details Page

Nevada Home Furnishers

Nevada Home Furnishers

A cartoon by beloved Reno cartoonist Lew Hymers appearing on June 8, 1949 depicts an aerial view of the soon-to-close Nevada Home Furnishers "economy store" at 1049 South Virginia Street. Image courtesy of the Reno Evening Gazette View File Details Page

Interiors by Gravelle

Interiors by Gravelle

Seen from the interior of the Hansel & Gretel Children's Clothing Store across the street in the mid-1960s is Interiors by Gravelle, a fixture at 1049 South Virginia Street for more than three decades. Posing for a newspaper photo feature are Allison Brown and Barry O'Sullivan. Image courtesy of Barry O'Sullivan View File Details Page

Street widening, 1965

Street widening, 1965

In 1965, the Department of Transportation undertook a major project to widen South Virginia Street to accommodate increasing traffic. Interiors by Gravelle can be seen directly behind the worker on the right. | Creator: Nevada Department of Transportation View File Details Page

The Melting Pot, 2015

The Melting Pot, 2015

The Melting Pot World Emporium has been located at 1049 South Virginia Street since 2006. | Creator: Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Street Address:

1049 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV [map]

Cite this Page:

Alicia Barber, “Dr. Pepper Bottling Company,” Reno Historical, accessed August 17, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/153.

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