Have you ever wondered who invented soda pop? Well, the answer to this question might be more shocking than you could’ve ever imagined.
We all know and love them – yes, we’re talking about soft drinks. Although you can get a less-authentic version from your local McDonalds, we’re discussing the real thing. This is the beverage that it all started with.
In The Beginning
If we want to go way back, we can trace it all the way back to when it was harvested from mineral springs. However, this doesn’t mean there are geysers that spew sprite or grape soda pop, but that would certainly be something to write about!
People used to bathe in mineral water because it was said to have healing properties. For the longest time, people wondered what makes the bubbles in mineral water, and later, scientists found out that carbon dioxide and gas carbonium were responsible for the bubbles that we observe in mineral water.
Some of the very first soft drinks weren’t carbonated, and these were served during the 17th century. Lemon juice and water, which was sweetened with honey, were the first-ever soft drinks served.
First Carbonated Drink
It was in 1767 that the first-ever carbonated soft drink was created, and it was made by a doctor named Joseph Priestley. It was about three years later when a Swedish chemist created an apparatus that makes carbonated water. It used sulfuric acid and chalk to make the water.
Put simply, this apparatus was able to produce an imitation of mineral water, and it could create it in large amounts. It wasn’t until about 1832 that the popularity of carbonated drinks really started to grow. Research shows that the first-ever carbonated soft drink was created in 1807, and it was made by a man named Philip Syng Physick.
Many of the earliest pharmacies actually contained pop fountains. In fact, people actually used to think soft drinks and mineral water had healing properties – they were considered health drinks. After countless years of research, we have a much better understanding of soft drinks and they potential benefits and downsides.
What About The Name?
In case you’re curious, the phrase ‘soft drink’ was actually derived from the phrase ‘soda water’, which dates back to 1798. It’s really just water that is infused with CO2 or carbon dioxide.
When it was first created, it was accomplished by suspending a bowl of water over a vat that contained fermenting beer. However, in 1771, a new and refined process was created by our friend Torbern Bergman.
How It’s Made Today
Today, this beverage is made a bit differently. The current process involves passing pressurized carbon dioxide through a large container of water with the use of a carbonator. Before the 20th century, the majority of soft drink production was handled by pharmacists because they have experience with medicine and chemistry.
It was during 1835 that the first bottle of sugar water was distributed in the US. As hard as it might be to believe, some of the first soft drinks were laced with cocaine and caffeine. In fact, soda used to be laced with a wide range of substances that, today, are classified as illegal substances.
You got to love our human history – right? The first-ever cola-flavored soft drink hit the market during 1881. Root beer was made in 1876. It wasn’t until about 1952 that the official diet soft drink was released.
Modern Sugar Water
Since it was first created and introduced to the public, pop has come along way. Today, it’s hard to find a store that doesn’t sell some type of this beverage, and some stores sell a wide range of sodas. Have you ever wondered how many cases of soft drinks are sold per year?
In 2006, over 10 billion cases of carbonated soft drinks were sold. It’s safe to say that it has really come a long way since its inception. Now that you know the gentleman who created it, all that is left to do is buy your own machine, so you can start making your own soft drinks!