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The Fountainhead
PHOTO: THE MIRIAM AND IRA D. WALLACH DIVISION OF ART, PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS: PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION, THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
After James Tufts invented the Arctic soda fountain, he capitalized on Americans' growing mania for carbonated water by constructing more than a dozen fountains at Philadelphia's Centennial Exhibition in 1876. The largest was this 33-foot, 30-ton tower made of variegated marble trimmed with silver and decorated with ornate chandeliers. Supposedly the largest soda fountain in the world, it was outfitted with 104 spigots for syrup, mineral water, and soda water. The thousands who tasted drinks from it created such a demand that by 1908 more than 75,000 fountains had been installed around the country.
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