As with many brand names from the early part of the 20th century, the origins of 7Up (also spelled 7 Up and Seven Up) are clouded in the requisite amount of mystery—yes, there were seven ingredients in the first formulation of Charles Leiper Grigg's 1929 formulation, but the inventor never admitted to that explanation even though he had ample opportunity to do so. No, the only thing we really know for sure about 7Up is that like Coca Cola, the first recipe for 7Up included a mild dose of drugs. Coca Cola, of course, was laced with cocaine, while 7Up contained trace amount of lithium, which is actually an element but is used as a drug to treat bipolar disorder. Both were used in patent medicines of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and each was celebrated in song on the second half of the 20th century—J.J. Cale's 1976 "Cocaine" was more famous covered by Eric Clapton in 1977, while Kurt Cobain's "Lithium" was a hit for Nirvana in 1992.

Initially advertised as a cure for hangovers ("Takes the 'ouch' out of grouch" read one ad), 7Up is famous for a number of memorable advertising campaigns, from "Fresh Up with 7Up" and "You Like It.. It Likes You" to "The Uncola." In the late 1960s and early 1970s, that last tagline was often accompanied by Peter Max-style psychedelic artwork by Pat Dypold, whose colorful depictions of butterflies and rainbows graced everything from billboards to throw pillows.


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