History of soft drinks

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The history of soft drinks can be traced back to medieval days and there are records of use of mineral waters in medieval history. The earliest soft drinks (sherbets) were developed by Arabic alchemists and were in use in medieval Near East.

In English history records on soft drinks it is found that in 1260s, naturally carbonated (fermented) drinks were made from the roots of burdock (Arctium lappa) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Soft drinks made from lemon juice (diluted with water and sweetened with honey) were marketed 1670s.

Soft drinks
Soft drinks (image attribution: Oilpanhands at en.wikipedia)

Joseph priestley from England made history by discovering the method of infusing carbon dioxide into water to make carbonated water (soda water), in 1767. Torbern Bergman from Sweden made history by inventing an apparatus for producing carbonated water from chalk by addition of sulfuric acid.

Later in late 18th century, fruit juices, herbs, spices and wine were added to the carbonated water to give flavors. Benjamin Silliman (Yale chemistry professor) sold soda waters in New Haven, Connecticut in 1806.

In the 1830s, John Lippincott of Philadelphia and John Matthews of New York City made history by starting the manufacture of soda fountains and both built large factories for fabricating soda fountains.

In United States, in 1950s, Phosphate Soda became very popular drinks and were made by adding orange syrup and phosphoric acid to carbonated water.

Earlier in the history of glass industry the manufacturing process had limitations and carbonated soft drinks were sold by the chemists from soda fountains.

Early 20th century saw the expanding sales of bottled soda and later canned soft drinks became popular in the second half of the 20th century.

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