Until the 1960s, it was common for both small town and big city dwellers to enjoy carbonated beverages at local soda fountains and ice cream saloons. Often housed together with a pharmacy, the soda fountain counter served as a meeting place for people of all ages. However, the popularity of soda fountains declined with the introduction of fast foods, commercial ice cream, bottled soft drinks, and restaurants.
The term “soda water” was first coined in 1798.
In 1810, the first U.S. patent was issued for the mass manufacture of imitation mineral waters to inventors, Simons and Rundell of Charleston, South Carolina.
The first soda fountain patent was granted to Samuel Fahnestock in 1819.
In 1858, G.D. Dows invented and operated the first marble soda fountain, which he patented in 1863.
In 1883, James Tufts patented a soda fountain, which he called the Arctic. Tufts went on to become a huge soda fountain manufacturer.
On January 25, 1870, Gustavus Dows patented a more advanced and modern form of the soda fountain.
In October of 1874, Robert Green created the first ice cream soda.
In 1903, a revolution in soda fountain design took place with the front service fountain patented by Doctor Heisinger.