Carbon dioxide and soft drinks in history

Carbonation in soda is created when carbon dioxide is pumped into the soda can or bottle then held under pressure. As long as the can or bottle is sealed, the CO2 remains mostly stable.

Carbonated beverages and waters were developed from European attempts in the 17th century to imitate the popular and naturally effervescent waters of famous springs, with primary interest in their reputed therapeutic values.

The first marketed soft drinks (non-carbonated) appeared in the 17th century. They were made from water and lemon juice sweetened with honey. In 1676, the Compagnie de Limonadiers of Paris, France, was granted a monopoly for the sale of lemonade soft drinks.

In 1767, the well reputed English chemist Joseph Priestley suspended a bowl of water over a beer vat in a brewery in Leeds, England. Priestly dripped sulphuric acid onto chalk over the top of this vat, and discovered that this technique infused the water with carbon dioxide.

Three years later, Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman invented a generating apparatus that made carbonated water from chalk using sulfuric acid. The process, however, wasn't commercialized until 1786 in Switzerland by a man named Jacob Schweppes. He developed and honed the first commercially practical process to mass manufacture carbonated mineral water in Geneva, based on Joseph Priestly’s research.

After his initial success in Switzerland, Schweppe moved his company to England in 1792 where he set up his first mass production factory in London at 141 Drury Lane.

Coca-Cola was invented in 1986 by a pharmacist in Columbus, Georgia, who began selling it to soda fountains. Six years later, Pepsi was also invented by a pharmacist, who invented his own sugar drink in 1893.
Carbon dioxide and soft drinks in history

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