The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 18, 1903
Many Victims of Soda Water Habit
Fountain Habit is Almost as Hard to break as That Acquired at the Bar
Druggist Tells of Increase
Of Soda Drinkers This Summer, saying That More Soft Drinks Are Being Sold in Fort Dodge This Summer Than Ever Before
Fort Dodge lovers of soda water concoctions still continue to throng to their favorite refreshment resorts altho the weather during the last week would not seem a strong incentive. Those who are fond of creations such as “Hooligan’s Flip” Dust Chop Suey Sundae patronize the drug stores solely in search of such preparations. But the fact that the soda fountains are doing more business this year than ever before is not so much the stern necessity of quenching the thirst but the habit once formed by the fountain devotee is seemingly almost as hard to break as the one formed by the perpetual booze fighter for alcoholic beverages.
The fact is people, men as well as women are more restless in the summer. When they can think of nothing else to do they repair to the nearest soda fountain and there pass away the time downing some mixture prepared by the fizz water clerk.
“It’s got to be a steady drink,” explained the local druggist yesterday after he had declared that more soda water has been drunk in Fort Dodge this summer than ever before in spite of the cool weather. “They drink it now because afternoon is warm,” he continued, “and they drink it next day because the morning is cool. No doubt a very how season would have increased the receipts at the fountains; but the situation isn’t what it was ten years ago, when every chilly day in the summer meant practically no soda water sales at all.
“This visiting the fountain is a habit of course. But humanity and especially the American humanity must have its little habits, we can safely say for the soda water tipplers that their indulgence is usually harmless. A man and particularly a women may take too much iced stuff; too much sugar, too many nuts and other rich things as a soda water fountain. But after all it’s merely the same danger to which the community is exposed daily at it’s (sic) dinner table. And there are few persons either, who find it convenient to drink soda water more than once or twice a day; the fact that you can’t carry the fountain home is a might good thing for you and for us. As to the adulterants the poisonous preservatives that you read about, that’s an abuse confined to the cheap, second-rate fountains. A first class concern does too much business, has too much as stake, to trifle with its customer’s health.
“Yes, hitting the fizz water is a habit and a growing one. I can’t say tho that he habit has increased any more, proportionately among the women than among the men. It’s true that many girls look on a “sundae” after the matinee as an artistic and necessary part of the play – the curtain is pulled down, to their young eyes by the boy with the white jacket. It can’t be doubted, either, that women console themselves at the fountain after shopping in bad luck, and celebrate at the same spot, their victories over the girl behind the bargain counter much as the lads on change keep up their equilibrium of soul by prescriptions from the bar. But the soda menu has gained popularity quite as rapidly among the men. Many a business man is a regular visitor at our fountain to day who would no more have called for a ‘Pineapple Frappe’ five years ago than he would have put his hat on with a pin.
“Among the male customers an egg phosphate is probably the favorite drink. It’s nutritious, a real tonic and quite harmless. Fellows come in after that as they would call at a saloon for a ‘life preserver’ in the morning or a ‘bracer’ later in the day. But the ladies smile the brightest when they’re meeting an appointment with a ‘sundae.’ I think I have guessed the reason. There isn’t any soda in a sundae, so the contrary creatures like to buy it at a soda fountain.
“As a matter of fact – tho I wouldn’t want the girls to know it – anybody can serve sundae anywhere. With a pail of ice cream and a few bottles of syrup, chocolate and fresh fruit; any person could furnish very good sundaes on the street corner. Any woman could put things up at home to entertain her friends. Indeed a sundae is, strictly speaking a cafe dish and it originated some years ago in a big Chicago restaurant. At present the ‘nut sundae’ is the thing for which sweethearts are forgetting their respective ‘noblest men in the world’; and the nut sundae is merely a spoonful of ice cream underneath a mixture of chocolate cream and nuts.
“But only a reformer who views with horror has to be told that our fountains supply something besides eggs phosphates and sundaes. It’s a neck-and-neck race with the barkeeper and the fountain boy to see which one will have the most glorious inspirations. At some Fort Dodge fountains you could surround a new drink every day from now until the middle of next August. Altho the sale of cold drinks fall off in the winter, they are still be had at some fountains, and hot drinks come in, of course, with snowstorms.”