Last week a Mountain Dew sign caught my eye while browsing. It had an odd character and a slogan that sounded familiar. I knew I had to get something like it for the walls in my shop. After some searching through FB Marketplace, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Google it didn’t take long to decide I wasn’t going to spend the kind of money it takes to get an original rusty Mountain Dew sign. I went back to the sign that sparked my interest and ordered it.
The colors, artwork, and being embossed are all quality. It’s a really fun sign that now lives on my shop wall.
This journey doesn’t stop there though. I thought the style of the art was familiar and it was. Back in 2015 I saw a different Mountain Dew sign while I was in Park City, Utah. I was pretty sure I’d heard/seen the slogan “It’ll tickle yore innards” as well and sure enough, it was used on a bottle of DEWshine I drank back in 2016. The same hillbilly character was appearing everywhere! His name is Willy, which makes a lot of sense when you learn Mountain Dew is actually slang for “moonshine.” (source) Here’s an early (original?) commercial.
Mountain Dew was invented in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1946 when Barney and Ally Hartman, of the Hartman Beverage Corporation, first debuted their new soft drink at a Gatlinburg convention. The drink’s trademark became official in 1953. Originally, Mountain Dew’s flavor was lemon-lime similar to 7-Up or Sprite and it was created by the Hartman brothers primarily as a mixer for hard liquor. In fact, the name “Mountain Dew” came about because the brothers joked that when mixed with liquor, the drink resembled a fine Tennessee moonshine.source: “It’ll Tickle Yore Innards!”: A (Hillbilly) History of Mountain Dew
…it was not until 1960 when Tri-City’s manager, Bill Bridgforth, changed the flavor to the citrus-lemonade flavor we know today, that the drink began to soar. As Bridgforth put it, “it took off like a cat hit on the tail with a hammer.”
I’m so glad they changed the flavor.
Ya-hooo! Mountain Dew!