Article — From the August 1872 issue

Soda-Water

What it is, and how it is made

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As a summer drink soda is naturally wanted cold, and, with very few exceptions, its lovers “take sugar,” which is supplied in the shape of well-flavored sirups. Accordingly the soda counter must be furnished with apparatus for readily refrigerating the water and for adding the sweets. The former is accomplished either by passing it through a coil of pipe surrounded by ice, or by shaving the ice into the tumbler to be used, which is done by passing it over an inverted plane made for the purpose. The feathery mass thus produced dissolves almost instantly, cooling the soda as soon as drawn. The sirups were in primitive times served simply from a set of appropriate bottles. This method, though still in use to some extent, has been vastly improved on by disposing them in cans or holders provided with faucets, from which they can be drawn with the greatest facility and ease.

The draught stand in its simplest form is merely a pipe rising from the counter to a convenient height, bent to a half circle, so as to deliver the liquid downward, and provided with a stop-cock to regulate the flow at will. The complete draught stand combines in itself the soda draught pipe, refrigerator, and sirup reservoirs. Such an apparatus frequently receives the appellation “fountain,” it and the reservoirs being included in the one title.

In the first efforts toward such an arrangement metal seems to have been exclusively employed, and for a time all the stands were of some silver-plated material. Many beautiful, elaborate, and costly designs were executed in this way. Then marble began to be thought a more elegant material for the purpose than silver, and the taste for it has grown so rapidly that at the present day little, if any, new work is found in metal. From a simple square box, as it were, the form of the marble stand has been developed into new shapes of beauty. One of the most elegant and popular styles is the “cottage,” fashioned after the model indicated by its name. Whatever the form, the arrangement is essentially the same. The sirup cans are concealed within the case, and deliver their varied contents through projecting faucets, and the soda is, of course, delivered in the same manner. Another and a very novel method of serving the sirups is to deliver them all, and also the soda-water, through one pipe, which is done by forming all the necessary connections inside the fountain, and using an ingeniously contrived combination faucet outside, which communicates at will with any compartment in the interior. The cooler consists, as before mentioned, of a coil of pipe, or, what amounts to the same thing, a series of chambers surrounded by ice, through which the soda passes in being drawn. In one form of apparatus an admirable ice-cutter is substituted for the cooler. Its construction is such that by the simple turning of a wheel the ice is drawn against a revolving drum armed with knives or “bits” set plane fashion. The ice, cut into thin feathery shavings, passes through to the inside of the drum, and falls into the vessel placed to receive it. The use of the ice-cutter, which is, of course, only an improved form of the ice-plane, gives the advantage of being able to furnish at will a draught of soda of any required degree of coldness. Soda-water with cream sirups when well iced as above has been fancifully named “ice-cream soda.”

In addition to the convenient and elegant draught stands we have mentioned, the well- appointed soda counter is also furnished with a “tumbler-washer.” The tumbler-washer consists of frames or supports, on which the tumblers are placed in an inverted position.

In connection with each frame is a jet of water, which is opened by the weight of the tumbler. This jet is so directed that it plays continuously into the inside of the tumbler, and a second one, reversed in position, cleanses the outside. The tumblers are being continually rinsed, and present a delightfully clean and refreshing appearance, which is to be especially appreciated during the dog-days. A “head” of water is, of course, necessary to operate the “washer.”

The absence of demand for cold drinks during the winter season has led to the introduction of hot soda, a comparatively recent invention. The new beverage seems to meet with some favor, but its sale amounts to but a mere trifle compared with that of the ice-cold article dispensed in the summer season. In an apparatus for drawing hot soda- water a boiler takes the place of the cooler required in summer. The heat applied is usually a gas flame. The most desirable form of apparatus is one with two or three independent boilers. By such an arrangement a greater or less amount of liquid can be kept ready, according to the demand.

More from John H. Snively:

Article From the October 1950 issue

Soda water

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