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American Soda Fountain Company

$145.00

SKU: 8439
Product Details

 

Intricately engraved antique stock certificate from the American Soda Fountain Company dating back to the 1920's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Treasurer, was printed by the Franklin-Lee Division of the American Bank Note Company and measures approximately 11 1/4" (w) by 7 1/2" (h). 

 

The vignette features an eagle atop a shield.

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    Historical Context
    The soda fountain began in Europe, but achieved its greatest success in the U.S. Benjamin Silliman, a Yale chemistry professor, was among the first to introduce soda water to America. In 1806 Silliman purchased a Nooth apparatus and began selling mineral waters in New Haven, Connecticut. Sales were brisk, so he built a bigger apparatus, opened a pump room, and took in three partners. This partnership opened soda fountains in New York City and Baltimore, Maryland. At roughly the same time, other businessmen opened fountains in New York City and Philadelphia. Although Silliman's business eventually failed, he played an important role in popularizing soda water.

    In 1832 John Matthews of New York City and John Lippincott of Philadelphia began manufacturing soda fountains. Both added innovations that improved soda-fountain equipment, and the industry expanded as retail outlets installed newer, better fountains.

    Other pioneering manufacturers were Alvin Puffer, Andrew Morse, Gustavus Dows, and James Tufts. In 1891 the four largest manufacturers—Tufts, Puffer, Lippincott, and Matthews—formed the American Soda Fountain Company, which was a trust designed to monopolize the industry. The company was incorporated in Maine. The four manufacturers continued to produce and market fountains under their company names. The trust controlled prices and forced some smaller manufacturers out of business.

    By 1902 the company had added offices in Denver, St. Louis, Atlanta, Baltimore, and San Francisco. Their competitors referred to this firm as "the Soda Trust."