Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Ancestor of Pepsi in Antebellum St. Louis

As I've been working on a report on a massive collection of artifacts from a Irish neighborhood in St. Louis, dating to the 1840s and 1850s, I thought I'd post a few more examples of relevant artifact types. Then I will return to the frontier and colonial periods of the region.
The first soda water bottle made for a St Louis merchant.
Made between 1845 and 1847.
Commonly recovered from archaeological mid-nineteenth century features in St. Louis are early soda water bottles. Soda water was first bottled in St. Louis in 1845, by druggists Rudolph and John Adams. A newspaper advertisement placed by the druggists in the spring of that year actually explained to local consumers that their product was “bottled by machinery in such a manner as to retain the fixed air perfectly, which renders it a beverage quite as delightful as being drawn from the fountain itself ”. 
Being the earliest form of the bottled, flavored soda pop that is so ubiquitous today, these products were also marketed for their health effects during the mid-nineteenth century (probably most often as relief for stomach complaints). 

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