Tom Tucker Mint Ginger Ale was the creation of Sidney Harris, a Pittsburgh inventor and entrepreneur. It was said that Mr. Harris had soda pop running through his veins! Almost his entire life was devoted to inventing and bottling soda. After dropping out of school in the 8th grade Sidney Harris embarked on a journey that would last his entire life. He started his soda pop dream by selling flavored drinks and ice from the back of a horse drawn wagon on the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh, he parlayed this modest venture into a small empire of very tasty and popular drinks. Along with his famous Tom Tucker mint ginger ale, he also invented Champayno, a nonalcoholic beverage that tasted like champagne!
Sidney Harris was known to travel sales route with a life size mannequin Tom Tucker dressed in top hat and tuxedo! The kids loved Tom Tucker and Mr. Harris.
In 1978, Sidney Harris retired, selling his Tom Tucker Bottling Company or so it was thought. It seems Mr. Harris just couldn't stop and soon became involved with Natrona Bottling, were he continued to bottle Champayno and a new drink he called Plantation Mint Julep. It was said that Plantation Mint Julep had medicinal qualities and was great for the relief of heartburn.
Mr. Harris was one of those rare individuals who seems happen once in a lifetime. He never measured success by possessions, but by the friends that he made and the difference he made in their lives. Sidney Harris passed away on June 3, 2003, he was 100 years old!
This Tom Tucker advertisement is painted on the side of a small building along Pittsburgh Street in Springdale, Pennsylvania. I've driven by this advertisement thousands and thousands of times and never noticed it till the other morning. It must have been the Ghost of Tom Tucker?