Who Invented Soda?


Quick Answer

An English chemist, named Joseph Priestly, was the first to artificially produce carbonated water in 1767. John Mervin Nooth improved upon Priestly's process around the same time. The invention of soda is attributed to the efforts of several Europeans and Americans of the late 18th and early 19th century.

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Full Answer

Prior to Priestly's innovation, carbonated water was only available from natural mineral springs. Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman developed a device in 1770 that did produce significant amounts of carbonated water from the reaction of chalk with sulfuric acid, based on Priestly's earlier principles. A fellow Swedish chemist, Jöns Jacob Berzelius, began to add flavoring to carbonated water produced in Bergman's device, creating modern, flavored soda water. An 1810 U.S. patent was granted to Simons and Rundell of South Carolina for an apparatus to mass-produce artificial mineral water. The Americans Benjamin Sillman and John Matthews independently developed soda fountains to dispense flavored soda water, consumption of which increased dramatically in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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