Soda Jerks

Originally, the concepts called a soda fountain was obviously a device that dispensed carbonated carbonated drinks and fizzy water, but as time continued, that it was used to be a general term to have an ice cream shop and lunch counter, that which you know as soda fountains. These begun to appear in pharmacy and dime stores from the mid 1800s.

Benjamin Silliman, a Yale chemistry professor, introduced carbonated soda water to America as soon as 1806 in New Haven, CT home of Yale. It caught on quickly and, together with three partners, shortly fater he began expanding into New York City and Baltimore. By the mid 1800s they knew they’d a winner, especially with digging in light meals, where anyone could grab a simple sandwich in addition to a frozen delight. The idea of pharmacologist was pretty ingenious, since cola syrups were instilled with fizzy water and originally sold as digestives. Soda fountains could possibly be ornate with marble counters and Tiffany lamps or plain, usually having a mirrored back wall plus the familiar goose-neck soda water dispenser that your servers, known affectionately as “soda jerks”, who worked those black-handled spigots and filled up glasses, creating wonderfully bubbly drinks which ticked noses and delighted preferences. Creating a popular meeting area for all ages, small town and enormous cities embraced them and customers often stood in line to get a seat during busy hours, happily contemplating their orders. On warm summer evenings, a fizzy fresh lemonade cooled off thirsty patrons or also, a banana split may be shared having a best friend or sister.

Most soda fountains stocked chocolate, vanilla and strawberry soft serve ice cream (whereby traders featured New York cherry, butter pecan and tutti-frutti) as well as chocolate, strawberry and marshmallow syrups. To top things off, crushed nuts and maraschino cherries included with the visual delight of these glorious concoctions. Hot fudge sundaes are created to serve on Sundays when religions forbade the sale of fizzy water, thus prohibiting the most popular chocolate frozen goodies sodas from being served. (Apparently the soft serve ice cream and syrup just weren’t considered sinful though the soda water was–go figure.)

Sadly, from the 1950s pharmacies moved inside direction of self service, eliminating lunch counters and soft ice cream altogether, and fast food begun to replace the lunch counter with hamburgers and shakes which bore little resemblance for their predecessors. Out with the existing, along with the new weight loss space was required for the numerous shelves displaying boxed and bottled products, replacing the soda jerks and much less income-generating egg salad sandwiches.

Today, there are still soft serve ice cream parlors and vintage fountains sprinkled throughout the country, continuing the nostalgia from the originals, And in small towns, root beer stands still happily serve floats and soft serve soft serve ice cream, but it really isn’t quite a similar. Oh sure, you may go to Dairy Queen or Baskin-Robbins and acquire a sundae or maybe a banana split, but something is missing. Is it those hats, or possibly is it just an item of history?