Who says nothing good happens when you suspend a bowl of water above a beer vat?
Not Joseph Priestly. Back in 1767 he invented a way to carbonate water by suspending it above fermenting beer. At the time, the air blanketing the beer was known to kill mice. But Priestly discovered that this carbon dioxide would also infuse into water, making it similar to the naturally carbonated "spa" waters that doctors of the day thought had curative properties.
A decade and a half later, a Swiss watchmaker named Jacob Schweppe read about Priestly's discovery and tinkered and tinkered until he invented an artificial mineral water making machine. He called it the Geneva Apparatus (next rock band name, anyone?) and it produced water with more aeration than in the natural mineral waters.
Doctors soon prescribed the carbonated water for a variety of ailments. But there wasn't a great way to get the fizzy water to patients until Samuel Fahnestock invented (or at least got the patent for) the soda fountain in 1819.
- 1767 Joseph Priestly discovers a way to carbonate water
- 1783 Jacob Schweppe invents a machine to artificially carbonate water
- 1819 The "soda fountain" patented by Samuel Fahnestock.
- 1835 The first bottled soda water in the U.S.
- 1836 New York City has 626 different soda fountains
- 1850 A manual hand & foot operated filling & corking device is first used for bottling soda water
- 1851 Ginger ale created in by Joseph Priestly in Ireland
- 1876 Root beer mass produced for public sale for the first time
- 1881 The first cola-flavored beverage introduced
- 1885 Charles Aderton invents "Dr Pepper" in Waco, Texas
- 1886 Dr. John S. Pemberton invents "Coca-Cola" in Atlanta, Georgia
- 1892 William Painter invents the crown bottle cap
- 1898 "Pepsi-Cola" is invented by Caleb Bradham
- 1899 The US Patent Office issues the first patent for a glass blowing machine
- 1911 100,000 soda fountains in the US
- 1920 The U.S. Census reports that the US has more than 5,000 soda bottlers
- 1923 Six-pack soft drink cartons called "Hom-Paks" created
- 1929 The Howdy Company debuts its new drink "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Sodas". They later changed the name to the slightly catchier "7 Up"
- 1934 Silkscreening ("applied color label") is first used on soft drink bottles. The coloring is baked on the face of the bottle
- 1952 The first diet soft drink sold. It's called "No-Cal Beverage"
- 1957 Aluminum cans first used for soda
- 1965 Soft drinks in cans dispensed from vending machines
- 1971 High Fructose Corn Syrup Invented
- 1973 The PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottle created
- 1977 US Government imposes tariffs on imported sugar
- 1984 Coke and Pepsi replace sugar with High Fructose Corn Syrup
- 2004 Jordan has too many gin and tonics with lousy tonic water...