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: http://www.npr.org/2011/09/01/140093866/in-soda-revival-fizzy-taste-bubbles-up-from-the-past