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The History of the Soda Fountain

The term "soda water" was first coined in 1798.

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Girl At Soda Fountain Bar

Girl Serving From Soda Fountain Bar

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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.
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