- Education and Science
History of the Soda - Carbon Dioxide Dissolved in Water
Soda is carbonated water with or without infusions of different flavors. Carbon dioxide is dissolved in water under high pressure to produce plain carbonated water. Different flavors, sugar, acids, and emulsions are added to produce flavored carbonated water and packaged in cans or bottles.
Soda was introduced in the eighteenth century as a medicine to cure illnesses. Medicines were mixed with carbonated water because of the firm belief that carbonated water had healing properties.
It all started when Joseph Priestley discovered how to infuse water with carbon dioxide. Presenting the history of the soda -
Birth of the Soda
Joseph Priestly invented carbonated water in 1767 when he discovered how to infuse water with carbon dioxide. He suspended a bowl of water over a container of fermenting beer that contained yeast as one of its ingredients to produce carbonated water.
The carbon dioxide released by the yeast dissolved in the water contained in the bowl producing carbonated water (Yeast is used in the process of making beer.)
In 1771 Torbern Bergman, a Swedish chemist and mineralogist invented another process similar to Joseph Priestly to make carbonated water. Until the first 20th-century, soda was manufactured mainly by the local pharmacists.
In 1774 John Mervin Nooth came up with an apparatus to saturate the water with carbon dioxide that was an improved version of Priestley’s design.
The first bottle of soda water was produced in the United States in 1835. The soda water was followed by the root beer in 1876, and the first cola-flavored beverage was introduced in 1971.
Based on the findings of Joseph Priestly, Johann Jacob Schweppes from Germany began to manufacture carbonated water.
Sparkling water is nothing but carbonated water. It is also known as club soda, seltzer water or fizzy water.
Introduction of Artificially Made Carbonated Mineral Water
In 1783 Johann Jacob Schweppe, a Swiss watchmaker came up with an artificial process to make carbonated mineral water that was commercially viable. Carbonated mineral water was popular among doctors and was used to cure indigestion and gout. He founded a company under the name Schweppes in Geneva the same year.
He started Schweppes not only in Geneva but also in England with a factory in Dury Lane, London. The lemonade fizzy drink was introduced by Schweppes in 1831. After the introduction of the lemonade fizzy drink, many other flavored fizzy drinks came up on the market.
Dr. Pepper's was introduced by Charles Alderton, a pharmacist in 1885. It was originally sold as an energy drink and a brain tonic. Dr. Pepper's was introduced to twenty million people at the 1904 World’s Fair Exposition in St. Louis.
Dr. Pepper’s was followed by other popular soda brands such as the Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and the 7 Up.
A Soda Jerk was the name given to the person who operated the soda fountain in a drugstore to prepare and serve the flavored soda water or ice cream soda to customers.
An ice cream soda was made by pouring a flavored syrup into a tall glass, followed by carbonated water and one or two scoops of ice cream that was served with a tall soda spoon and drinking straw.
The Soda Fountain
The soda fountain was a machine that dispensed soda in different flavors. The automated machine pumped carbon dioxide, a flavored syrup and chilled purified water to make the soda.
The soda fountain was introduced in Europe and soon became popular in the United States. Benjamin Silliman, a chemistry professor at Yale, bought a Nooth device and made mineral water and sold them in New Haven and Connecticut. The mineral water venture was a big success, and Benjamin Silliman built a bigger Nooth device and took on three partners.
The partnership resulted in the opening of soda fountains in New York City, Baltimore, and Maryland, More soda fountains were opened by businessmen across the United States.
In 1832, John Mathews of New York City and John Lippincott of Philadephia started to manufacture soda machines that were bigger and better.
Other pioneers of the soda fountain were Alvin Puffer, Andrew Morse, Gustavus Dows and James Tufts.
In 1891 Tufts, Puffer, Lippincott, and Mathews formed the America Soda Foutain Company. Soda fountains used ice to cool down the soda. Ice was cut from frozen lakes and ponds in winter and stored in the form of blocks in ice houses for use during summer.
Liquid carbon dioxide is also known as dry ice.
In 1888 Jacob Baur of Terre Haute, Indiana started the Liquid Carbonics Manufacturing Company in Chicago, the first manufacturer of liquefied carbon dioxide in the Midwest. In 1903 Liquid Carbonics started experimenting and testing with the first prototype of the iceless soda fountain that used liquefied carbon dioxide in a confectionery in Chicago.
In 1903 Liquid Carbonics started experimenting and testing the first prototype of the iceless soda fountain that used liquefied carbon dioxide to chill the water, in a confectionery in Chicago.
The iceless soda fountain used liquefied carbon dioxide to produce chilled carbonated water.
The business of making soda with iceless soda fountains was monopolized by L.A. Becker Company, the Liquid Carbonic Company, and the Bishop Babcock Company.
Louis A. Becker, a salesman, produced the first iceless soda fountain in 1904, in a manufacturing company that he owned.
The soda fountains were seen in pharmacies, ice cream parlors, candy stores, dime stores, department stores, milk bars and train stations. It was a place where neighbors socialized, and friends got together for an evening of fun.
The decline of the soda fountain began with the introduction of the full self-service drug stores by Walgreens. North American retail stores switched to self-service soda vending machines that saved costs on manual labor.
Today soda vending machines can dispense cans or bottles of soda in response to coins and currency bills or served in fast food chains and restaurants.
Soda - A Health Hazard
Drinking soda is not good for health. Drinking soda on a regular basis can cause obesity and diabetes. People who consume soda regularly have a higher risk of heart disease and cancer.
Sugary soda is bad for dental health. Soda contains acids such as phosphoric acid and carbonic acid that eats away the enamel and exposes the teeth to decay.