History of the Soda Fountain

Types of Ingredients

The history of the soda fountain can be traced back to the drug revolution of the 1800's, when people would visit their local drugstore for a remedy (a drink) to cure whatever was ailing them.  At that time, there were no laws governing the use of drugs and medication in beverages, so ingredients such as Caffeine, Cocaine, Cannabis, Heroin, Morphine, Radium, Strychnine, and a hefty dose of Booze were regularly included in these drinks. Many of the concoctions that were made were flavored to make them palatable.  Drugs like caffeine and cocaine may have been the most popular, but bromides and various plant extractions were also commonly dispensed. The reason cocaine and caffeine were such common drugs was because they were used to cure headaches. The problem however, was that rebound headaches would ensue and the patient would be right back for another drink to get rid of the headache. The soda fountain was the place to be to get some "pep". Doctors, druggists, and the people believed that these stimulants were good for you. These new drugs were looked upon as completely safe and good for you. Many druggist made their own formulas and marketed them to the public. Prior to 1914 these drugs were over the counter medicines and it was legal to purchase so no soda fountain was breaking any laws by selling them. In 1914 that all changed with the Harrison Act it banned the use of cocaine and opiates in over the counter medicine





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