The Hastings Museum preserves Nebraska’s natural and cultural history, including that of the state’s official soft drink, Kool-Aid.
While known for its expansive mounted-bird and wildlife collections, the Hastings Museum also features exhibits highlighting Nebraska’s cultural history, such as Kool-Aid — one of the most recognizable drink brands ever created. The iconic powdered drink mix was created by Nebraska-based entrepreneur Edwin Perkins in 1927. The Museum highlights Perkins’ career as an inventor, documenting some of the 125 different products he created over his lifetime and the evolution of his Fruit Smack flavoured drink liquid to Kool-Aid.
Artefacts in the permanent exhibit include Perkins’ personal idea scrapbook, a selection of the inventor’s products, along with sales and marketing materials for Kool-Aid.
If you can’t visit the Hastings Museum in person, many of their exhibits include online resources to peruse from the comfort of home. The Museum’s YouTube channel includes playful activities and a Kool-Aid exhibit tour.