pharmaceuticals and soda jerks

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pharmaceuticals and … soda jerks!

A soda fountain in south Texas, at the turn of the last century

An aspect of Steampunk, so to speak, which many may be familiar with, but not quite aware of, is the unique history soda fountains and soda jerks, in the United States.  As I drove to work this morning, I was intrigued to learn a new resurfacing of soda fountains, and oddly enough, their original purpose.  To provide an abbreviated narrative, pharmacists from the mid to late 1800’s were often responsible for developing concoctions to address ailments which afflicted many of the day.  While their effectiveness might be in question, one that that wasn’t was the terrible taste of their “medications”.  As such, to make the medication a bit more palatable, they would add something that would overpower the challenging taste… which eventually led to an iconic American institution!

However, to indulge in the full article, links, and more, please do head over to the article, at:


Jenny Schwartz

Thanks for the link — I remember reading about these old soda fountains in "Freckles" by Gene Stratton Porter. Fascinating.


@ Miss Schwartz – Outstanding! I cant think of a better locale to visit – and Im personally intrigued at trying some "bitters" myself… as soon as I find a soda fountain in the local area!