Soda Fountains and Luncheonettes

by Rena

Was it Prohibition that created the craze for soda fountains in the early 1900s? People did need a place to socialize instead of bars! The natural location for soda fountains were in a drug stores, and even Walgreens had a soda fountain and luncheonette. It was the drugstores that started the tradition in the early 1800s by serving “tonics” to relieve illnesses, but the revival fountains in the 1900s made sure people knew that medicines weren’t served in the soda, as before. Visit the online Drugstore Museum for more soda fountain history.

Buster Keaton at the Soda Fountain

Vintage Ice Cream Fountain and Luncheonette Manual

Swifts Ice Cream Fountain and Luncheonette Manual
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This is a typewritten manual duplicated for luncheonette owners written about merchandising ideas, instructions on how to store stock, how to care for your ice cream fountain, which type of dishes to use with which ice cream dishes, which dishes to use for sandwiches and hot drinks in a luncheonette, Also How to Make Hot Drinks (Ovaltine, Coffee, etc.), How to Make Cold Drinks (Iced Coffee, Coffee Ginger, Flavored Milk Shakes, Malted Milk, etc.) Cold Plate Lunches, How to Serve Salads, How to Make Sandwiches, behavior of staff, cost and profit numbers of the dishes including from each scoop of ice cream to each piece of American cheese with pickle, and directions for building about 50 of their ice cream dishes!

Black and White Special
One No. 20 dipper of chocolate ice cream, on No. 20 dipper of both, cover this with marshmallow syrup, decorate with whipped cream and cherries. Serve on a banana split dish.

Hot Lunches
…Also serve sauces with plates that might fall short without them. For instance, meat loaf, fish, etc.
For Meat Loaf: Spanish Sauce
1/4 lb. butter
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1/3 cup dices onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 #2 can tomatoes.

How to Serve Fountain Drinks (including Coca-Cola)

Coca-Cola
Use 1 oz. of coco cola syrup in regular coco cola glass. Use 1 oz. finely chopped ice, fill with carbonated water, taking care to hold glass directly under spout in slanting position allowing carbonated water to run down side of glass, stir only three or four times with spoon. A common fault in making a carbonated drink is to allow it to sit on a drain pan under draft arm, running water the 10 or 12 inches into the glass. This allows the gas to escape from the water resulting in a drink that is flat and lifeless.

See link to Soda Fountain Museums.

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