Soda Fountains


How many of you remember drug store soda fountains?

The term soda fountain was originally used to mean a device that dispenses carbonated soft drinks.  The device combines flavored syrup or syrup concentrate and carbon dioxide with chilled and purified water to make soft drinks.

Later the term was applied to small lunch counters where so-called soda jerks served carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, ice cream, and sometimes light meals.

Soda fountains were a feature of almost every drug store, and they were often a favorite gathering place for teens.  Shortly after I was first introduced to Ann, my future wife, I discovered that she was working as a soda jerk in a local drug store.  I immediately developed an overpowering taste for orangeades (non-carbonated orange drinks mixed and dispensed by a soda jerk).

The popularity of soda fountains collapsed in the 1970s with the introduction of fast foods, commercial ice cream, bottled soft drinks, and restaurants. With rare exceptions, old fashioned soda fountains are only found in museums.


They remain among the sweet memories of days gone by.

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