Updated: Feb 24, 2020
Ah, soda. For as long as you can remember, soda has been there for you. Thirsty on a hot summer day? Have some lone vanilla ice cream that could really use some oomph? Enjoying a delicious meal and need something to wash it down? You already know you're reaching for a bubbly ice-cold soda. But have you ever wondered what had to go down to get that bottle to your table? Buckle up for this ride.
Our story begins in 1767 when a European man named Joseph Priestly figured out how to infuse water with carbon dioxide, creating the first carbonated beverage. Back then people believed carbonated water cured illnesses so "soda" was sold in pharmacies. Pharmacists would mix prescriptions into soda to make it easier for the patients to take.
It wasn't until the creation of root beer in 1876 that soda began to evolve into a drink option. Cola flavored soda entered the market shortly after in 1881. Dr Pepper was created in 1885 and believed to be the first soda as we know it today followed by Coca-Cola one year later.
The story doesn't end there; there have been many modifications to the way soda has been enjoyed between its invention and today. In 1892, Baltimore shop owner William Painter created the crown cork bottle seal to keep carbon dioxide bubbles from escaping the bottle. In 1902, the first vending machines were set up in U.S. providing an easy way for Americans to have access to soda. The state of the soda market dramatically shifted in the 1950s with the creation of the easy-to-open soda can.
The love of soda is still very much alive today seeing that America spends approximately $65 billion in soda a year. So whether you're drinking it from the bottle, mixing it in your whiskey, pouring it over your ice cream, or using it to get rust off your engine, we can all appreciate the contributions made throughout the years to get it into our hands.