Cherry Smash was founded in 1901 by John E. Fowler of Richmond, Virginia. This is contrary to many popular beliefs that Howard B. Fowler, the Pepsi-Cola magnate, was the founder of what was once called “the most popular soft drink next to Coca Cola.”
John Fowler was born in 1876. He was the great-grandson of General Amos Fowler, once a member of George Washington’s staff during the American Revolution. This seemed to instill a sense of national pride that can be seen in artwork and slogans for Cherry Smash. One commonly used slogan by Fowler’s company was “George Washington smashed the cherry tree. An action bold and rash. He had not learned, it would be turned to Fowler’s Cherry Smash. Our nation’s beverage.”
Indeed, the tag line “our nation’s beverage” was used prominently throughout all literature and upon the products themselves.
Fowler was a shrewd businessman who’s idea of a flavorful soft drink was timely. By 1909, Cherry Smash was popular to the point that Fowler began looking to distribute abroad. Trademark registrations for Fowler’s Cherry Smash and Lemon Stock, another soft drink from Fowler were purchased
When The 18th Amendment was ratified in 1919, the sale and consumption of alcohol was banned within the borders of the United States. This was a boon for soft drink manufacturers. Even old breweries were converted over to production of soft drinks. Fowler was no exception to this practice. After many years in Arlington, Virginia, Fowler bought the old Consumers Brewing Company brewery in Rosslyn. He converted the old brewery over to a soft drink bottling plant exclusively for his Cherry Smash. By this time, Fowler’s Cherry Smash was already a house hold name. It was found in every soda fountain and pharmacy up and down the east coast.