7-UP, Westchester Square

by Kevin Walsh

A sharp-eyed Gary Fonville found an old 7-Up sign, as well as the word “Midget,” in back of a newer vinyl awning on East Tremont Avenue in Westchester Square recently. The mind wanders about what the older store was called with the word “midget,” but these 7-Up signs, advertising the lemon-lime carbonated drink, were once all-pervasive around town, as frequently found as the Coca Cola signs.

The drink was formulated in 1929 by Charles Leiper Grigg in St. Louis as the Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. The name implies that it once contained lithium citrate, used in the mood-stabilizing drug, which remained part of the recipe until 1948. The origins of the name “7-Up” are unclear but there are several theories: The “7” could come from the seven main ingredients in the drink, while a more outrageous one claims that the “7” referred to the lithium because the element’s atomic mass is 7.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Mike June 30, 2017 - 10:43 pm

That store was called The Midget Smoke Shop because it was extremely small inside.
They sold newspapers, magazines, candy and of course tobacco products.

Mike June 30, 2017 - 10:47 pm

That store was there for many many years. It was called The Midget Smoke Shop. It was an extremely small store but they did a tremendous business because the bus stopped directly in front of their door.
Their big sellers were cigarettes, newspapers and magazines.

Joe August 23, 2017 - 6:13 pm

Not too far from this location on the corner of Crosby and Dudley Aves was a nameless tavern that we called the “Midget Bar,” because it was small space. These were the days before political correctness

Dan McAteer October 29, 2018 - 6:24 pm

I believe I, as a kid, bought newspapers there. Also candy. Mid-60’s.

1990’s February 13, 2020 - 1:12 pm

There used to be a box out front, which the store used to display newspapers to passers-by.

It was covered in a sheet of aluminum. Back in the ‘90’s, after the owner closed and brought all of the papers inside, we’d skate the box.

It was perfect for board-slides, grinds, etc. . .


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.