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.