Soda Fountains

You may think your ancestors who lived in the 1940s and 1950s were the only ones to visit their local soda fountains but these popular establishments date back much earlier. Back at the turn of the 20th century local pharmacies were adding a section to their business that would be the local soda fountain. This was due to the new popular drink, coca cola – product of Coke-Cola.

The first soda fountain in the U. S. was in Boston in 1882 serving sodas, food but no liquor.

These new soda fountains of the 20th century would have marble counters, a mirrored backdrop and seats at the counter as well as small tables with chairs for sitting. These places served non-alcoholic drinks, so popular with the ladies and the youth to gather.

Besides Coke-Cola, ginger ale, root beer and milkshakes were always in demand. Many soda fountains even added light meals or sandwiches to their menu. They were very popular by the 1910s and especially during Prohibition of 1920s, when alcoholic bars were not allowed.

Even by the 1930s when bars opened up again, the soda fountain shop remained popular. A great place to meet your friends and enjoy a light refreshment. By the 1940s and 1950s, adding music was done, using a jukebox that played records. Many couples met at the local soda fountain, check with any relatives and see if that happened to them.

Soda fountains remained during the 1960s but by the 1970s, fast food places opened up and people did not go to the soda fountain shops as much.

Photo: A 1910 Soda fountain on the right side and drug store on the left in Massachusetts.

Related Blogs:

Old-Time Medicines

Nickel Coke-Cola

National Beer Day

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