The Victorian-era Soda Fountain

The Victorian-era Soda Fountain

My most recent post was all about Ice Cream Sodas, contemporary and late-Victorian. How they were made just might surprise you! Though some inventions (see the patents within that article) required no soda fountain at all, ice cream soda waters were quite inseparable from the iconic Soda Fountain.

THE SODA FOUNTAIN

Apparently, (as the article below states in multiple ways) keeping insects out of guests’s soda water is a premium selling point. Note the “Jet Attachment” (apparently the faucet protruding from the upper portion of the front of apparatus).

I’m not sure what the “attachment” is, when referenced with the PRICE $35.00 (just above the J.C. Wharton & Co [Patentees], Druggists line at the bottom of clipping).

Nashville Union and American of Nashville, Tennessee on May 1, 1869.

What cost $35.00 in 1869 would cost $640.44 in 2016. (latest year available)

~ The West Egg Inflation Calculator

Typical soda fountain of the 1880s in Vancouver, British Columbia. Image: Courtesy of Pinterest.

(One of) 33 Rare Photos Show American Stores from the Late 19th Century. Image: Courtesy of Pinterest.

Worker Pouring Soda for Customer, ca 1890. Image: Courtesy of Pinterest.

Soda Fountain inside Vogelsang’s Drugstore, 1895 Chicago. Image: Courtesy of Pinterest.

“Saxe’s Canopy Top Apparatus.” Illustration appears in the 1894 (10th edition) of Saxe’s New Guide -or- Hints to Soda Water Dispensers. As a dispenser (essentially a bar tender for soda fountains), DeForest W. Saxe had been in the business for 17 years at that time (beginning ca. 1877).

Portable soda fountains advertised in The Recorder-Tribune of Holton, Kansas on June 10, 1875.

What cost $40 in 1875 would cost $887.58 in 2016.

What cost $50.00 in 1875 would cost $1109.47 in 2016.

What cost $75.00 in 1875 would cost $1664.21 in 2016.

What cost $100.00 in 1875 would cost $2218.95 in 2016(latest year available)

~ The West Egg Inflation Calculator

The Corinth, one of many offerings in John Matthew’s 1882 soda fountain catalog. Image: Courtesy of Pinterest.

AN AMERICAN INVENTION, ON DISPLAY

DOW’S ICE CREAM SODA FOUNTAIN

Paris World Exhibition, 1867

The Ice Cream Soda Fountain seems to have been uniquely American…and at put its own special stamp on history at the World Exhibition held in Paris. “The American Restaurant” at the Exhibition had opened by mid-May 1867, and a lengthy article appeared in the Chicago Tribune on May 19, 1867. The following snip is one paragraph from that lengthy article, mentioning the astounded reaction Europeans gave Dow’s ice cream soda fountain within that American Restaurant.

One paragraph of a lengthy article about the Paris International/Universal Exhibition, published in Chicago Tribune of Chicago, Illinois, on May 19, 1867.

According to a publication titled Reports of the United States Commissioners to the Paris Universal Exhibition, Volume 5 (found on page 6):

Dows’ Fountain at Paris Exhibition, a success, especially Dow’s patents for shaved ice. Reports of the United States Commissioners to the Paris Universal Exhibition, Volume 5, page 6.

In 1861 and 1863, Dows had already created “new and improved (over some previous work)” patented ice-cutter and ice-crushing machines, “the nature of my invention consists in an apparatus whereby I effect the cooling of soda, sirups [sic], and cream and facilitate the keeping and admixture of them.” ~ U.S. Patent No. 33,880.

Patent. G.D. Dows, Soda Appratus and ice-cutter. Cools soda, sirups and cream, facilitates mixture. Patented December 10, 1861. US33880-0. Patent Image courtesy of Google.

In 1863, Gustavus D. Dows applied for and received a reissue for his 1861 patent (No 33,880), pictured above, Reissue No. 1,462, dated April 28, 1863. His lengthy explanation of the updates/”new and improved” elements included details about the enveloping chest now large enough to contain any desired number of surup-vessels, a cream-chest, and an ice receptacle or chamber, all arranged in a convenient manner. Pipes leading from the soda fountain passes through the ice reservoir to keep a considerable length of that pipe cooled. Each of the sirup jars or vessels were provided with an eduction-pipe. Talk about an inventive American!

Dow’s Patent, reissued in 1863. Part 1 of 2. USRE1462-0. Patent Image courtesy of Google.

Dow’s Patent reissue 1863, ice crusher. Part 2 of 2. USRE1462-0. Patent Image courtesy of Google.

MORE UNITED STATES SODA FOUNTAIN PATENTS

Antoine Piccaluga, a Parisian, invented certain improvements and qualified for a United States Patent (Patent No. 120,531, patent date: October 31, 1871). “Improvement in Apparatus for manufacturing Iced Cream and Soda Water” [sic]. Note the choice of “Iced Cream”, and see reference in recent post about the differences between Ice Cream Soda in the late Victorian era vs. today.

Piccaluga Patent 1871. Improvement in Apparatus for manufacturing Iced Cream and Soda Water. 1 of 3. Patent image, courtesy of Google.

Piccaluga Patent 1871. Improvement in Apparatus for manufacturing Iced Cream and Soda Water. 2 of 3. Patent image, courtesy of Google.

Piccaluga Patent 1871. Improvement in Apparatus for manufacturing Iced Cream and Soda Water. 3 of 3. Patent image: Courtesy of Google.

Van Riper’s and F.E. Kip’s Patent, 1884, for specific improvements in soda fountain design. The text of the patent provides precise information, referencing the diagram with lettered figures, about what was “new” and what had been previously created. This tech-heavy description provides an understanding about how the soda fountain worked…how the levers caused soda water (in this case, spelled sodawater) and various flavored sirups [sic] to combine in the drinking glass.

Van Riper Patent 1884. Soda Fountain. 1 of 2. Patent image: Courtesy of Google.

Van Riper Patent 1884. Soda Fountain. 2 of 2. Patent image: Courtesy of Google.

1887 PATENT SODA WATER DISPENSING APPARATUS

Patent Soda Water Dispensing Apparatus. Year 1887. Part 1. US Patent No. 655782-0. Patent Image: Courtesy of Google.

Patent Soda Water Dispensing Apparatus. Year 1887. Part 2. US655782-0

Patent Soda Water Dispensing Apparatus Year 1887. Part 3. Patent Image: Courtesy of Google.

One more patent arose from the Soda Fountain craze in Victorian America:

On March 12, 1900, P. Marx applied for a Spoon Patent, awarded on May 21, 1901, U.S. patent No. 674,446. Note the spoon is also a straw. The written statement accompanying the image specifies that these fancy new spoon-straws are designed for sipping ice cream sodas.

SODA FOUNTAINS HAVE COME A LONG WAY!

Coca-Cola Freestyle® Machine Advertisement. Essentially, a customer-operated Soda Fountain, 21st-Century Style. Combine syrups, soda water, and fill your (wax-coated paper) glass with your choice of “soda waters”. Image: courtesy of Twitter.

Up Next!

The Soda Fountain– Behind the Counter

Details you’d know if you worked as a Soda Man…

Operation of the Soda Fountain Apparatus, Recipes for flavoring syrups, How to Pour the best ice cream soda, Successful Advertising of the Soda Fountain, Use of Ice at the Soda Fountain, Cleaning the Apparatus, Recharging the Soda Fountain, Running a Profitable Soda Fountain Business, and establishing a fine reputation for the best carbonated beverages in town.

Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Soda Fountain: Behind the Counter – Kristin Holt - […] Despite the heat (and lack of electricity), patrons expected COLD sodas. How did soda fountain proprietors manage that?…
  2. June 20th: National Ice Cream Soda Day! NOT your Victorian Ice Cream Sodas. – Kristin Holt - […] The Victorian-era Soda Fountain – Kristin Holt - […] most recent post was all about Ice Cream Sodas, contemporary…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *