After the success of his first soft drink, Whistle, in 1919, salesman and inventor Charles Leiper Grigg launched The Howdy Corporation and tried his hand at an orange-flavored drink, named Howdy. When it failed (he could never beat the king of orange drinks, Orange Crush), he started work on his next drink idea.
In October 1929, Grigg launched Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda—but not just as a soft drink. Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda was actually a patent medicine marketed as a cure for a hangover, due to one of its main ingredients, lithium citrate. A compound mood stabilizer, Lithium citrate was used in the treatment of manic states such as bipolar disorder. The bubbly drink debuted two weeks before the disastrous Wall Street Crash and quickly became popular, not only as a hangover cure but as a pick-me-up drink (something that, at that time, was much needed). As the drink became more popular, Grigg decided to change the name to something shorter and sweeter—and 7-Up was born.
Lithium citrate was removed from 7-Up in 1950. However, due to its iconic ad campaigns (“The Uncola” being the most memorable), and the fact that it was the first soda to have a diet and a caffeine-free version, 7-Up is still one of the top three carbonated beverages on the market today.