An Englishman, Joseph Priestley, invented carbonated water (predecessor of soda water) in 1767. He also published a paper which explained how to make carbonated water. The paper was published in 1772 and it was called ‘Directions for Impregnating Water with Fixed Air’. The inventor never exploited his product commercially.

It was a Hungarian inventor and engineer, Jedlik Ányos István, who realized the commercial prospects of carbonated water. He not only produced a drink which could be consumed, he also built the world’s first factory in Budapest, Hungary. When water and carbon dioxide gas are made to mix under high pressure carbonic acid is formed:

H2O + CO2 —>H2CO3
Water + Carbon dioxide ? Carbonic Acid

He named the drinks ‘fröccs’. Later, it also got another name ‘seltzers’ in Germany. The name is still very popular on the North American continent. The name ‘soda water’ is more popular in Commonwealth nations.

There is a small difference between the terms ‘soda water’ and ‘carbonated water’. A little amount of ‘sodium bicarbonate’ is added to ‘carbonated water’ to reduce its acidity; the resulting solution is ‘soda water’. Carbonic acid is also a cause of enamel erosion (enamel is the white colored layer on our teeth which protects them.). Some say, carbonated water is less harmful to teeth than cold drinks, while other don’t seem to agree. But one thing can be taken for granted: soda water is less acidic and thus less harmful to the teeth than simple carbonic water.

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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.