Carbonated Water Discovery and History

People have been enjoying carbonated water since 1767 when Joseph Priestley successfully invented a way of mixing water with carbon dioxide. He used a suspended bowl, which he accessed easily from a local brewery in Leeds, England. Priestley filled the bowl with water and treated it with fixed air, also known as the air that blankets the fermenting beer. Fixed air was also used to kill mice that were suspended in it. He discovered that the resulting mixture tasted better and started offering it to his friends. Afterwards, he decided to publish his discovery in a paper titled 'Impregnating Water with Fixed Air.' In the paper, he explains how to produce carbon dioxide by dripping oil of vitriol, also known as sulfuric acid, into chalk. The resulting gas is then dissolved in an agitated bowl of water to create carbonated water.

The process of creating carbonated water by Joseph Priestley was not developed until 1740-1821, by J.J Schweppe. This led to the establishment of the Schweppes Company in Geneva in 1783. Due to the immense potential of this beverage, many others have followed suit and continue to improve the process for creating better carbonated water. In 1799, Augustine Thwaites created Soda water in Dublin, being smart enough to secure a patent and sell soda water. The right taste of soda water, which remains popular today, was not discovered until Ányos Jedlik in 1800-1895. His discovery led to the establishment of his factory in Budapest, Hungary. Jedlik took great care in protecting his discovery, keeping the process of effectively mixing carbon dioxide into water a secret. Wine spritzers, a drink created with soda water and wine, gained popularity in Europe. Nowadays, there are various mixtures and ways to enjoy carbonated water.

Other developments in the creation of carbonated water occurred in 1771, when Torbern Bergman, a chemistry professor, independently invented another process. He aimed to replicate the qualities of natural spring water, believing it would improve his failing health. The introduction of carbonated water in Kolkata, India (formerly known as Calcutta), took place in 1822. Over time, this beverage has acquired various popular names, including club soda, fizzy water, seltzer water, and sparkling water. It is now widely available in the market and enjoyed by many. Clubs and bars often employ carbonated water or club soda to dilute strong drinks or create a well-crafted cocktail. Due to its popularity, some individuals have started setting up their own carbonation systems at home, allowing them to enjoy carbonated water at a more affordable price. The basic principle behind this process involves chilling the water and then combining it with carbon dioxide under high pressure.