This section is from the "Elixirs And Flavoring Extracts. Their History, Formulae, & Methods of Preparation" book, by John Uri Lloyd. Also available from Amazon: Elixirs and flavoring extracts,: Their history, formulae, and methods of preparation;
At a moderately distant day only, in the past, a good com-plement of soda syrups could be found in a dozen decanter-like bottles arranged beneath the counter. Now such a method of supplying syrups to a public would be viewed as a curiosity. Then a silver-plated urn as a fountain solicited not a little admiration; now a fortune is often invested in rare marbles, beautifully ornamented that for tastiness, richness of design, and elaborate finish can rarely be surpassed by costly furniture in the mansions of those who have little to do but lavish their wealth on fine furniture. It may be safely asserted, we think, that in no direction connected with pharmacy has there been a greater degree of progress than in the elaboration of the soda-water fountain, as shown by its evolution from the simple nozzle and stopcock of former years to the magnificent designs of the present. It seemed as though manufacturers each year had certainly reached perfection, and yet each season witnessed the appearance of new designs and conveniences formerly unknown.
Some of us have ever considered such investments to be unnecessary; some of us still believe such adjuncts to be in excusable innovations on the apothecary shop; and yet the fact confronts us that those who strive to please the eye and the taste of the public by such modern conveniences as are embraced in rich fountains and pleasant surround ings, thrive better, as a rule, than others who adhere to cold, bare walls and the scant fixture accompaniments of former years.
The manufacture of soda fountains has evolved itself into a great industry. Manufacturers are amply able to suit the taste of any purchaser, and suggestions from our selves or other outsiders concer-ning styles and designs are superfluous. The manufacturers can help the purchaser to select to the best advantage, and they have a ripe expe-rience in this direction that enables them to say just what style and design promises to be most appropriate in each locality.
Of course business judgment is necessary to determine the possi-bilities of returns from such investments, and there are localities in which expenditures of this description cannot prove remunerative; and yet, in our opinion, it is conclusively shown that under favorable condi-tions a richly designed fountain and savory surroundings bring business to the store and largely add to the prosperity of its owner. The medicine trade only, including the prescription business, even in our large cities, is now seldom sufficient to enable an apothecary to pay the rent of central or prominent locations, and if the druggist proposes to succeed he must, however distasteful it may be, grasp the present and let go of the past.