Joseph Priestley Ignites a Carbonation Nation

On March 22, 1733 Joseph Priestley invented soda water. Wanna see what an old-school version of SodaStream looked like in the late 1800s? Click to find out.

For those of you who are addicted to that snap, crackle, and pop! in your mouth every time you guzzle down your favorite soda, you’ve got Joseph Priestley to thank.

Two hundred and eighty one years ago this week, Priestley, who was a English theologian and chemist among many other trades, invented soda water, and thus, the revolution on your taste buds began.

Interestingly enough, Priestley didn’t look at his new invention as a means for commercial consumption; instead, he taught his carbonation process to sailors, falsely believing that it could possibly cure them of scurvy. Thankfully, an amateur German scientist by the name of J.J. Schweppe ran with the idea of spreading the bubbly drink to the masses and founded the Schweppes Company in 1793.

Although it took some years to get his venture to launch, Schweppe finally got the blessing of Britain’s King William IV in 1831, and things, you could say, basically fizzled out from there.