Originally sold for medical purposes, soft drinks beverage solutions soon outgrew their origins in the medical world and became a widely consumed beverage, available cheaply for the masses. By the 1850’s the amount of soft drink manufacturers increased to fifty from just ten in the 1840’s. In the send half of the 19th century, mixer drinks gained popularity such as tonic water. Tonic water was originally quinine (used to treat malaria) added to water, and consumed by British officials stationed in the tropical areas of South Asia and Africa. In order to overcome the bitter taste of the quinine, people would mix it with a carbonated soft drink along with sugar leading to the production of commercialised tonic water as a new beverage solution in 1858. Tonic water is similar to mineral water and club soda but has a distinctively bitter taste. It used as a beverage ingredient in gin and tonic.
One of the major problems that was faced by the soft drink industry was the need to effectively seal their bottles. The solution to this issue had to take into account the great pressure from the gas, which could cause the bottle to explode if the pressure was too great. Hiram Codd was the first to find a solution to this problem which he invented and patented while working at a small mineral water works in the Caledonian Road, Islington, in London in 1870. His ‘Codd-neck’ bottle worked by enclosing a marble and a rubber washer in the neck, filling the bottles upside down to force the marble against the washer to seal the carbonation. The bottle was specially designed to have place to push the marble in order to open the bottle, preventing it from blocking the neck of the bottle as the drink was poured. Since then, the design for soft-drink bottles has changed dramatically and is able to effectively trap all the gas in the bottle with no leakage.
Unlike Europe, soda fountains were initially more popular than bottled soft drinks and many Americans would frequent the soda fountain daily. The main reason for this were the problems in the U.S. glass industry in the 19th century. By the early 20th century, bottled soft drink sales increased exponentially, and by the second half of the 20th century, canned soft drinks also became an important share of the market. Vending machines also began to appear in the 1920s and have since become increasingly popular. Both hot and cold beverage solutions for dispensing machines are sold in these self-service machines throughout the world.
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