When people head to a sporting event or their favorite fast food restaurant, the drink they choose most often is some form of soft drink. It has been a long road for soft drinks, but they have become an iconic part of American pop culture and one of the most popular types of drinks in the world. Throughout the history of soft drinks, there have been plenty of interesting and history-changing events. But there have also been developments in the history of soft drinks that many people may find hard to believe.
The First Soda Fountain Was Patented in 1819
The most popular early images of soft drinks are of kids in a soda shop out of 1950 having fun and drinking soda. But the very first soda fountain was patented in the United States back in 1819 by Samuel Fahnestock. There were not many soft drinks to offer back then, but this patent indicates the start of a new era in American history.
Ginger Ale Is Invented In 1851
Contrary to popular belief, not every type of soft drink was created in the United States. In 1851, some Irish confectioners created a carbonated, non-alcoholic version of ginger beer that they called ginger ale. In 1907, Canadian pharmacist John McLaughlin developed the first North American version of ginger ale that he wound up calling Canada Dry.
Pop Appears In 1861
The early pioneers of soft drinks were primarily Canadian and American pharmacists who were making claims that soft drinks cured diseases. While we now know that soft drinks do not cure diseases, we do know that the carbonation gives soft drinks a pop that can tickle the nose. In 1861, the term “pop” was first coined as a popular alternative to calling the beverages soft drinks.
Cola Is Invented In 1881
The early years of soft drinks saw some interesting combinations of ingredients that did not result in very tasty beverages. In 1881, pharmacists finally started perfecting the cola flavored soft drinks that went on to become extremely popular all over the world.
The Doctor Shows Up In 1885
Every soft drink historian recognizes the name Charles Aderton as the man who brought the world the soft drink known as Dr. Pepper. Aderton was an ambitious young pharmacist from Waco, Texas who wanted to create a fountain drink that would attract people from all over. In 1885, he debuted his Dr. Pepper drink and the rest, as they say, is history.
And Then Coca-Cola Showed Up
In Atlanta, Georgia, another pharmacist had been working on a soft drink formula for years that he honestly believed would help make people healthy. John Pemberton worked for years in his garage with a large brass kettle trying to prefect his formula. He finally found the right mix of ingredients in 1886, and he called his concoction Coca-Cola.
Today, people like Bobby Kotick of Coca-Cola are keeping the soft drink industry alive and very profitable. Caleb Bradham invented Pepsi-Cola in 1898, which sparked a soft drink war that goes on to this day. As the soft drink companies improve their formulas and deliver more flavors to expand their businesses, it looks like the real winners in the cola wars are the customers.