This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
Three centuries ago the manufacture of artificial mineral waters was a thing but little known to the public; and scientific men of all nations have since made efforts to imitate the healing effects of various natural mineral waters, distinguished for their beneficial action on the human system.
These waters are now partly imitations of natural ones, prepared according to the results of the most accurate chemical analysis, and partly certain saline solutions prepared according to an empirical formula for medicinal purpose.
The historical data bearing upon this point are interesting, and at the risk of repeating facts, presumably familiar to the trade, a few of the leading events are briefly referred to here.
The first attempt was made by Thurneisser, in 1560, which was followed by those of Hoffmann in 1685, and Geoffroy, in 1724, but without success. Van Helmont, in the early part of the Seventeenth Century, first discerned carbonic acid gas as a gas entirely distinct from common air. Dr. Black, in 1757, distinguished carbonic acid from all other gases under the name of "fixed air;" and Lavoisier identified it and gave it its true name, as a compound of carbon and oxygen. It was only, however, on suggestion of Venel, in 1750, to employ a solution of carbonate of soda in muriatic acid in a closed vessel, that the production of carbonic acid gas can be fairly said to have taken a step in the right direction. In 1772 Priestley first suggested the employment of water impregnated with carbonic acid gas. In 1787 Meyer had already commenced the manufacture of Selters waters in Stettin, Germany, on a large scale. Paul erected a similar factory in 1799 in Paris, and introduced the use of a pump. Somewhat later the business began to spread in Great Britain, in 1807 the first patent for impregnating water with gas having been granted. About the same time the subject commenced to attract attention in the United States, and a patent to Simmons & Rundell of Charleston, S. C, was granted for saturating water with "fixed air" in 1810.
Struve 1 first commenced their manufacture in 1815, in Dresden, where he introduced numerous improvements, and was the author of several important observations on the constitution of mineral waters; and to him belongs the credit of having produced the first artificial mineral water, exactly identical with the natural, and to him also we owe the introduction of artificial mineral waters into medical use. However, it was reserved for the progress of Chemistry of the Nineteenth Century to ascertain by most careful analyses the ingredients contained in the natural mineral waters, and to enable us to imitate such waters, which are refreshing for the sick as well as for the healthy, and to combine those substances which are of medicinal importance and refreshing, and to omit those without use or advantage to the consumer.
The present use of artificial mineral waters is very large and constantly increasing, and, in the course of time, the manufacture has become a formidable industry, which requires a great deal of skill, intelligence, and knowledge to successfully conduct the business. Nearly all branches of industry have their separate literature, from which the trained manufacturer gathers his references and refreshes his memory, and from which the beginner is enabled to obtain directions and suggestions for the start. The mineral-water trade, at its present development, has not yet found the proper consideration in literature it is deservedly entitled to. In regard to natural and artificial mineral water, the German literature comprises valuable works, such as those of Hager and Hirsh, but with their contents (the former being written in Latin) the average bottler is probably unfamiliar.
The modern mineral-water manufacturer differs from those of former times. The latter knew but one class of mineral water, viz.: the real mineral or medicinal waters or their imitations. The present time comprises also under mineral waters those kind of carbonated waters which we know under the collective name of "carbonated saccharine beverages" the number or variety of which has reached considerable prominence. The compounding of these beverages, the scientific comprehension or understanding of the principles governing their composition, the acquaintance with the various apparatus and appliances necessary for their manufacture, and the knowledge of their ingredients, and directions for a systematic process, have hitherto not found the appreciation they are entitled to. Faint efforts have been made, by some writers, it is true, to cast some light on the subject, but they have rather muddled the question.
1 Frederick Adolf Struve, medical doctor and proprietor of the "Salomoni's Apotheke," in the City of Dresden, Germany.
The author, having travelled in various parts of the globe, has handled all kinds of machinery and manufactured all sorts of beverages, and having acquired a great deal of practical information and experience, he has concluded to take upon himself the task of gathering together all the practical hints, suggestions and points, pertaining to the subject. He has borrowed from various scientific and technical publications their most practical ideas, added his own technical and chemical knowledge and personal practical experience, and united and combined them to a systematic whole, thus making a work most valuable as a reference for the trade, and a book of information and instruction to those who are anxious for and desire it. The purely scientific matter or parts, which are to be found in works of Chemistry, have been either omitted altogether or shaped for practical purposes; and all practical hints or directions have been either furnished by standard authorities, or are original with him. The vast amount of knowledge required for the successful manufacture of carbonated saccharine beverages, as well as the imitation of natural mineral waters, made it necessary to cover all that pertains to their manufacture in an explicit and thorough manner, thus making the work really a bottlers' encyclopedia. He has, also, endeavored in every Part and in every Chapter, to give, as completely as possible, a valuable practical and instructive treatise on the various ingredients, processes and phases of their manufacture.
In laying this work before the trade and public in general, the author begs to state expressly that it has been made up and written for the practical manufacturer, and not for the theoretical student of the trade; and he submits it to the careful perusal of the former, hoping the time and labor he has spent on it will be appreciated, and the work, with its carefully arranged contents, will find cordial acceptance.
Charles Hermann Sulz. New York, March 20, 1888.