You might find this topic a little strange but the fact is that the soda we drink today had it's roots in the 19th century. It was actually at the tail of the previous century when the term "soda water" was coined. (1798)
And the first soda fountain was patented in 1819 by Samuel Fahnestock.
But the idea of adding flavoring to the soda water came from the Ingenuity of Eugene Roussel in Philadelphia in 1830 at his perfume shop. His customers could buy a glass of this soda water and had a choice of orange, cherry, lemon, teaberry, ginger, peach and root beer syrups. He did so well that in no time there were fifty other competitors in the city selling flavored soda water.
By the end of the Civil War soda fountains had become a mainstay. By the end of the century ice cream parlors and soda shops were popping up all over. In New York City by 1900 Soda Shops and Ice Cream Parlors out numbered saloons.
And the number one soda in America, Coke, was invented in 1886 by Dr. John Pemberton.
So for those of you who are writers of historical fiction who are following this blog, when your characters need something different to do, you might have them go out for a soda.