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BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies

George Papavgeris 29 Apr 07 - 05:21 PM
Peace 29 Apr 07 - 05:24 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Apr 07 - 05:48 PM
bubblyrat 29 Apr 07 - 05:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Apr 07 - 06:13 PM
Donuel 29 Apr 07 - 06:22 PM
Peace 29 Apr 07 - 06:27 PM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Apr 07 - 06:28 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Apr 07 - 06:42 PM
Rapparee 29 Apr 07 - 06:43 PM
Big Mick 29 Apr 07 - 07:01 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Apr 07 - 07:08 PM
bobad 29 Apr 07 - 07:32 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Apr 07 - 07:37 PM
Big Mick 29 Apr 07 - 07:49 PM
Rapparee 29 Apr 07 - 08:44 PM
Greg B 29 Apr 07 - 09:25 PM
SINSULL 29 Apr 07 - 09:51 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Apr 07 - 10:45 PM
dick greenhaus 30 Apr 07 - 12:26 AM
mrdux 30 Apr 07 - 12:30 AM
katlaughing 30 Apr 07 - 01:12 AM
George Papavgeris 30 Apr 07 - 01:31 AM
JennieG 30 Apr 07 - 02:03 AM
Bob Bolton 30 Apr 07 - 02:25 AM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Apr 07 - 03:03 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Apr 07 - 03:29 AM
Big Mick 30 Apr 07 - 07:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Apr 07 - 07:37 AM
SINSULL 30 Apr 07 - 07:53 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Apr 07 - 08:55 AM
George Papavgeris 30 Apr 07 - 09:05 AM
clueless don 30 Apr 07 - 09:12 AM
Rapparee 30 Apr 07 - 09:13 AM
Roger the Skiffler 30 Apr 07 - 09:22 AM
JennyO 30 Apr 07 - 10:20 AM
Donuel 30 Apr 07 - 10:31 AM
Alice 30 Apr 07 - 10:56 AM
Big Mick 30 Apr 07 - 11:06 AM
JennyO 30 Apr 07 - 11:15 AM
Donuel 30 Apr 07 - 12:22 PM
Alice 30 Apr 07 - 02:35 PM
Alice 30 Apr 07 - 02:56 PM
RangerSteve 30 Apr 07 - 03:16 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Apr 07 - 05:11 PM
catspaw49 30 Apr 07 - 05:12 PM
katlaughing 30 Apr 07 - 05:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Apr 07 - 06:31 PM
Charlie Baum 30 Apr 07 - 09:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Apr 07 - 09:40 PM

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Subject: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 05:21 PM

Reading Vonneguts's "Dead Eye Dick" again after a long time, and his references to pharmacies, soda fountains etc woke up an old unsatisfied query. Perhaps our US brethren can shed some light for me:

What is it with pharmacies and ice cream in the early part of last century? It seems a very unlikely place to be going for some ice cream - for any kind of food, really. Pharmacies in most of the world deal only with medicines and health-related paraphernalia. How could they end up selling ice cream in the States?

And while we are at it, I would expect a "soda fountain" to be dispensing soda, carbonated water, sugared or not. But ice cream? How did the two terms become linked?


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Peace
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 05:24 PM

The soda fountain provided floats. Carbonated beverages with ice cream in it. One or two scoops. Drank it with a straw then ate what was left of the ice cream with a long handled table spoon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 05:48 PM

Such a thing never happened to my knowledge in Australia - although we did have in some capital cities and other large country towns large contingents of US troops during WWII which may have encouraged such directions.

We had 'cafes' and 'delis' which were eating places - one sold made up food, the other, ingredients, especially sliced meats, and cheeses (both often mainly inported) - we also had 'milk bars' which were sorta like 'cafes' - but for the lower end of the market, where much of the US 'drug store' activity took place.

Bob Hudson's song 'Never let a chance go by' may assist in understanding this part of Aussie culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: bubblyrat
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 05:51 PM

As somebody famous once observed---------" The only nation to have gone from Barbarism to Decadence without passing through an intervening period of Civilisation " . Quod Erat Demonstrandum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 06:13 PM

A good soda fountain certainly brought people into the store. Booths and tables and the counter where one could sip a coke or have a malted milk shake and learn the latest gossip. A 'drug store' in the U. S. and Canada also sold more than pharmaceutical drugs. Magazines, papers, the latest hit recordings, cosmetics, etc.- I can't remember it all. Teen-agers hung out at the fountain, which also had sandwiches, doughnuts, etc. And coffee and tea. And you could browse records and magazines.
The soda fountain has disappeared, but many have almost become general stores. Here in Alberta, London Drugs (one big chain), sells computers, TV's, cell phones and Blackberries and cameras and photographic equipment (and has state of the art processing equipment), snacks and some groceries (I get my Scotch marmalade there), all sorts of what used to be called notions, cosmetics, smaller furniture, basic tools, and - you name it, they probably have it.
Oh, yes, they also function as a pharmacy filling prescriptions and selling all those nationally advertized panaceas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 06:22 PM

I was in a couple authentic soda fountain pharmacies. They were like general stores with a lunch counter.

Then in the fifties soda fountains were mostly in Woolworths 5&10.

Now ice cream parlors are stand alone stores like Dairy Queen while a few sit down restaurants like Friendlys feature ice cream.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Peace
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 06:27 PM

George, a history here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 06:28 PM

Bubblyrat, that quote was from Oscar Wilde, I believe.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 06:42 PM

In the time when soda fountains first appeared, much of the "medicine" sold was little more than "tonic water" so it was probably a natural thing for the pharmacist to have a "soda generator." Many of the "tonics" of the era really were little more than flavored high-proof (alcoholic) beverages, nipped as a "treatment" by little old ladies who weren't allowed in the saloon (if there was one).

(Several current soft drinks originated as "medicinals" with Coca Cola, as an example, originally being a fairly potent alcoholic beverage laced with cocaine. My recollection is that "Lydia Pinkhams" was around 80 proof(?). As late as the 40s or early 50s, the "modern" and nationally distributed tonic "Serutan" was banned in Kansas and eventually elsewhere - after lots of sales - since the alcohol content exceeded legal limits for sale except by licensed liquor sales outlets.)

Few of the grocers of the era, who handled bulk items, had the space or inclination to have people lounging around. A few of the "gentlemen" might sit around the stove and play some checkers, but the "ladies" were expected to get the shopping done and take the kids with them when they left.

The pharmacist was likely to be pretty much bored with waiting for someone to get sick; so adding on-site carbonated "social beverages," and ultimately ice cream, was a reasonable market diversification. The pharmacist usually also sold "root beer," likely home brewed, which varied in proof but was supposedly "good for you."

It also, according to some old-timers of my acquaintance, allowed people (women) to have an excuse to "hang around" until the opportunity presented itself to ask the pharmacist discreetly for "those things" ladies (and sometimes kids) didn't want to be heard mentioning, but which were "essential" to healthy(?) domestic tranquility.**

** None of the old-timers who raised this issue would discuss with me what "those things" were, so I had to use my imagination. Your imagination likely is as good as mine was when I was 8 or 9.

The saloon and the barbershop were off-limits to women. The grocery "tolerated them" to the extent necessary, but was a men's place - for the sober men, if there were any - so far as social gathering was concerned. That left the pharmacist as the only acceptable place to provide, or profit from, "social gathering" of women and children - hence that's where the soda fountain sprang up.

Or at least that's one interpretation.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 06:43 PM

Try a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream in root beer. Or a sundae: ice cream with syrups, preserved fruits, and crushed nuts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 07:01 PM

One of the very first jobs I had was in Loveland's Drug Store in Wyoming, Michigan. I was the stockboy and soda jerk (easy now, that is the term for the person who worked the soda fountain). There were two pharmacies in this little shopping area known as Home Acres. They both had soda fountains. This would have been in about 1964 and 1965. The pharmacy was but one aspect of the store. As has been noted above, we sold magazines, sundries, some groceries, and the soda fountain had a grill. I figure I made the best cheeseburger deluxe in that part of the world, if I do say so meself. We made parfaits, sodas, floats, malteds, shakes (what's the diff between a shake and a malted? The malted literally had malt added to it by the spoonful)sandwiches, soup, and all manner of things. Most of the area small businessmen and businesswomen ate their lunches there. Also many of the local kids from school. Several of my girlfriends were met while working there.

Great memories. Thanks for starting the thread, George.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 07:08 PM

"You want crushed nuts?"

"Look Lady..."





I'll leave quietly now....


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: bobad
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 07:32 PM

There's a funky little restaurant in Montreal Wilensky's Light Lunch that still makes soft drinks by dipping flavoured syrup with a ladle from canisters and adding soda from a fountain, allowing for all sorts of combinations such as pineapple cola, cherry cola, vanilla cola, cherry chocolate etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 07:37 PM

Gosh Mick. By 1964 or so most of the "drug stores" in my current locale had already ripped the soda fountains out, due to the competition from the "drive-ins" like Sonic et. al. You had to have a car (or borrow mom's and suffer the embarrassment) to get a soda or a shake for your sweetie. (Or some of them may have ripped them out because of the sit-ins too, I suppose(?).)

And passing through Boston in 1957 I learned that at "soda fountains" there, a milk shake was "milk, syrup, shook." If you wanted something with ice cream in it, you had to ask for a "frappe." (Even then, the ice cream was minimal. - they had no right to refer to themselves as "civilized.")

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 07:49 PM

In West Michigan the drug store soda fountain survived until the late 60's or early 70's. I am sure they were around all over the State of Michigan in the same time frame.


Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 08:44 PM

Ditto in Western Illinois. The so-called "Cherry Coke" sold in cans bears only the faintest relation to the real thing. And a real milkshake -- ice cream, syrup and a splash of milk, perhaps a chocolate made with REAL chocolate syrup and chocolate ice cream or strawberry made the same way -- is one of the world's best treats and is NOTHING like the "shakes" you get at McDonald's.

Or a banana split.... YEAH!


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Greg B
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 09:25 PM

When I was a kid in SoCal, the 'Thrifty' drug store was the
place to go for good, cheap, fresh-scooped ice-cream.

You could get it in a bowl, waffle cone, or sugar cone.

I wasn't old enough to know if they'd served it up in a condom,
though it might have tasted a mite rubbery, particularly the
sherbet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: SINSULL
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 09:51 PM

A frappe in NYC was layers of ice cream and syrup in a pretty glass. More like a Sundae. Heller's Pharmacy was across the street from our grammar school and always the last stop before going home. They sold candy and Spero Chips, Rock Candy in an orange box and Sen Sen in tiny envelopes. I was heartbroken to see that it was gone the last time I visited Howard Beach. The pharmacy was in the back. The black marble counter with stools up front. Frozen Milk Shake bars, CHerry or Vanilla Coke at a nickle a glass. Soda Jerk was the most glamorous job in town.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 10:45 PM

I think the word "frappe" probably had lots of regional variations in usage. Wiki agrees with the Boston usage, as a "milkshake" although the Boston version was more of a watery slush only faintly resembling what most of us from elsewhere expected - sort of an ice cream soda with a splash of milk run through the blender. Wiki also agrees on the pronunciation FRAP, with the "pe" on the end silent (like the "C" in "RAP").

One "Websters" online insists that it should be pronounced fra-PAY "because it's French," but obviously doesn't know what it is in any region of the world - giving a definition that would apply to "anything chilled."

The last I heard, Boston now has McDonalds, Sonic, Burger King, and a host of other "nationals" so a milk shake now (mostly) is a milk shake like in the rest of the country.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 12:26 AM

In 1947, a milkshake in Boulder Colorado was about 90% ice cream with a dash of syrup and a splash of milk. Seems that ice cream shipped better than milk. Good though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: mrdux
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 12:30 AM

As recently as the early '80s there were -- count 'em -- two pharmacies down the street from my office, in Milwaukie, Oregon, that had soda fountain/lunch counters, right across the street from each other. One was a very friendly Rexall, and I became a semi-regular. Interestingly, the woman behind the counter/proprietor had never heard of a chocolate phosphate before I asked for one: I got a "What the hell's that?" kind of look. When I explained, she mixed one up, and one for herself, tried it, smiled and said "That's not bad." I told her I grew up with them in Chicago. She said: "Figures."


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 01:12 AM

There is still a small soda fountain in a drugstore in Steamboat Springs, as least it was still there a couple or so years ago.

When I was growing up, one of my favourite books we had was Bugs Bunny Gets A Job as a soda jerk. Love that cover!


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 01:31 AM

Wow, thanks folks! Peace, that link was most useful. But I am enjoying just as much (and more) tasting your own memories of such places.

I will return later today (from work) with my own "frappe" story/recipe. Meanwhile, I hit the road with the following facetious question in mind - no need to answer it:

Did they hold competitions for soda jerks, and what were they called? ;-)

Really, thank you all so much!


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: JennieG
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 02:03 AM

In Oz the drink made of a scoop of ice cream in a carbonated beverage is known as a 'spider' Don't know why - unless it refers to the froth on top as being like a spider's web.

Cheers
Jennie


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 02:25 AM

G'day George, Jennie, Foolestroupe (etcetera),

Fooles: I remember (back in the '60s to (~) the '80s that Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains behind Sydney had one "drugstore" ... possibly an early adaptation to the "tourist trade" aspects. There were serving counters on both sides of the store ... milkshakes, soft drinks and sweet foods on the left side, as you entered, and pharmaceuticals from the right-hand counter.

I didn't go there very often ... but they did nice hot chocolate, in the cold months - and ditto iced chocolate in summer ... but I rather went off chocolate around then, so I don't have much idea how much longer they were around.

Jennie: Soft drink and scoop of ice cream seems to have been a "Spider" almost everywhere in Australia ... except Sydney, where you only encountered them in lime flavour ... and called: "Ice Cream Lime & Soda". Down in Tassie they did a spider with a reasonable splash of rich local full cream milk ... and that was called a "Spider Royal".

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 03:03 AM

Bob, Jennie

I remember home made 'Spiders' in the 1950s usually Coke and Vanilla ice cream, but any carbonated drink would do - Lemonade was a favourite as well as 'Sars' - similar to 'Root Beer' - but Aussie Sars was always black in colour, and Ginger Ale - especially 'Kirks'. My mum seemed to know them from well before that - but then the Yank Air Force had invaded the large country town with a base... Her elder sister became a 'war bride'.

BTW, a favourite carbonated bottled drink at the time was 'creaming soda' - tasting not unlike a spider in one hit and usually coloured red.

Bundaberg was the home of the now popular commercial Bundaberg Ginger Beer too. It was almost as good as regular 'grandma home brewed' ginger beer - quite spicy too.

From family tales, there were 'soda bars' around, but the total US style of 'drug store' never seemed to be much around by the 1950s, mostly they seemed to end up as 'milk bars' or 'cafes'.

By the way, you could once get 'shakes' or 'malteds' at the concession bars of some picture theatres, but they soon were outdone by the installation of the 'mixer post' - which also cut back the sale of glass bottles of drinks (60s ish from memory) - waxed paper cups were far less dangerous when flung around during the 'kids matinees'... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 03:29 AM

Till at least the beginning of the 90s, Ivan's Pharmacy in Ventnor, NJ, had a lunch counter and soda fountain. As a kid I'd go in and buy chocolate malteds with the tips from my paper route.

When I was in high school, two of my friends worked there. it was ace...our crowd was very retro and kitch anyway, so we'd be wearing our vintage taffeta skirts and 50s cardigans from the Salvation Army thrift store and sit sipping our malteds at the soda fountain...we thought we were VERY hip.

I can't believe no one's mentioned egg creams. No egg, no cream. So why on earth were they called that? It was just chocolate syrup, a bit of milk, and soda water. Nicer than it sounds...


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 07:20 AM

Wow.... Egg Creams and Phosphates. I used to make them both, and had forgotten about them. It is so great to hear the Aussie versions of some of these things. What a great thread.

And George, you naughty Greek Brit! It would be called a jerk o.....
I just can't do it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 07:37 AM

Go on! Do it!

:-P


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 07:53 AM

There was a soda fountain in Livinston Manor, NY where we vacationed every year. They made their own ice cream. Lemon ice cream with lemon soda was my favorite.
Haven't seen lemon ice cream anywhere else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 08:55 AM

Was the family Italian, by any chance? Lemon ice cream is popular in Italy. You can usually either get the sorbet version or proper ice cream.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 09:05 AM

OK, let's say it's hot - ideally above 30C, but in any case above 22C. All you have to hand is ice cubes, water and instant coffee granules (and sugar, if you need it). Panic not, for a Greek frappe is yours for the making:

Get a shaker (in Greece every house has a plastic "cocktail" shaker for the purposes of frappe). Fill it half way with ice cubes. Add instant coffee granules and sugar to taste (and a little cold milk, if you really want it). Add water to just below the rim. Close shaker. Shake to kingdom come. Pour contents into tall glass. Insert straw. Sit on veranda/patio/balcony/rock and watch the world go by as you sip.

Good for any occasion, but ideal for having just come out of the sea, or for waking up after midday siesta.

Guess what - it's 23C today, and I just made one at the office. The colleagues think I am mad and are waiting for my head to explode. Aha! Give me time and I will have some more converts soon...


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: clueless don
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 09:12 AM

The U. S. used to have "blue laws", which prohibited businesses being open on Sunday. I believe it was the case (until somebody posts 25 references saying that it wasn't) that pharmacies - "drug stores" - were generally exempt from these laws, since being able to obtain medicine was a necessity. Because they could stay open on Sunday, they started stocking other items besides drugs/medicines because people found it convenient to be able to shop for these things on a Sunday. As a result, "drug stores" turned into little general stores. Soda fountains/snack bars would be an obvious extention of this trend.

Unless I'm wrong.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 09:13 AM

Yeah Mick. I thought the same thing. Only the applicants stood in a circle and....

There's a place here in town called "The Boullion and Soup Catering Company" that makes excellent soups and breads for lunch (and that's about all, and it's very popular). Part of their building is a genuine, untouched, tiled counter, soda fountain! Complete with stools (one has the top missing and a sign on it that says "Don't sit here"). Next time I'm in there I'll try to get a photo and ask Pene Azul to post it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 09:22 AM

I'd often wondered about this too, so thanks, george for asking the question! And as for Greek frappe-, mmmm roll on June!
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: JennyO
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 10:20 AM

Here's the Bob Hudson song Foolestroupe mentioned. Only the chorus is sung - the rest is spoken. This is Newcastle in Australia, by the way - for anyone joining the thread late.

THE NEWCASTLE SONG - Bob Hudson

Chorus:
Don't you ever let a chance go by, oh Lord,
Don't you ever let a chance go by.

Yes, up in Newcastle they have very strange mating habits.
All the young women of Newcastle
walk down the main street
which is called Hunter Street
for reasons that will become obvious
later on in the song.
All the young men of Newcastle
drive down Hunter Street
in their hot FJ Holdens
with chrome plated grease nipples
and double reverse
overhead twin cam door handles,
sitting eight abreast in the front seat,
and they lean out of the window
and say real cool things to the sheilas
on the footpath, like 'Aah g'day'.
And every now and then, of course,
one of the young ladies thinks to herself
Ummmm
she thinks
Ummmmm.

Chorus
Don't you ever let a chance go by, oh Lord
Don't you ever let a chance go by.

Anyway there was this mob of blokes
driving down Hunter Street
in the front seat of the hot FJ
with chrome plated grease nipples
and twin overhead foxtails,
and the coolest of them all,
who got to sit near the window,
was young Norm.
And they pulled up outside
the Parthenon milk bar
and standing outside
the Parthenon was this beautiful looking sheila.

Oooh! Oooh! said young Normie
who'd come top of his class in English,
Ooooh! he said.
So he leaned out of the window,
and he said real, real suave like,
he said G'day.
This nine foot tall Hell's Angel
came out of the Parthenon milk bar,
looked at Norm and said
Arr, what are ya?
Norm said What are you?
Bloke on the footpath said
D'ya want a go, do ya mate, eh?
Norm said Yeah, d'you want a go, mate?
Bloke on the footpath said
Yeah I'll have a go
Norm said
D'you know who you're picking?
The bloke on the footpath said
Nah, who am I picking?
Norm said
You find out
And all of a sudden there was a break in the traffic,
and as any young Newcastle lad knows-
when you're getting monstered
by a nine foot tall Hells Angel
and there's a break in the traffic....

Chorus
Don't you ever let a chance go by, oh Lord
Don't you ever let a chance go by.


And here is a very interesting YouTube clip, showing parts of the song, some old footage of Newcastle, and comments about the Parthenon milk bar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 10:31 AM

I remember Serutan, "Natures" spelled backwards.
It was called a poor man's whiskey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Alice
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 10:56 AM

It was sad to see the art deco Bungalow Drug go out of business on our main street a few years ago. It was a
classic drug store (pharmacy) lunch counter soda fountain variety store.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 11:06 AM

I think our own Dani had a restaraunt that was an old pharmacy. Maybe she could enlighten us.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: JennyO
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 11:15 AM

I grew up in Goulburn, which is a large country centre in NSW Australia, although not as big as Newcastle. All of the decent size country centres had cafes, or milk bars as we called them, in the main street, and a good proportion of them were called something like the Paragon or the Parthenon for some reason. We had our own Paragon Cafe, which was the embodiment of the typical Oz 50's cafe. As well as drinks and milkshakes, they did things like hamburgers, mixed grills and the like. I don't remember ever seeing anything like the American drugstore. In my teenage years I was aware that they existed over there from watching TV shows, but they were a foreign idea to us.

A couple of years ago when we were passing through Goulburn, we went and had a meal in the Paragon Cafe - still in the same place, a bit more up-market now than I remember it being, but I'm happy to say that it has been well looked after, enlarged, and with many of the art deco features, including the mirrored walls, lovingly preserved. In a world of change it's nice to find some of the old things being kept. In fact, Goulburn seems to do a pretty good job of looking after a lot of its historical features.

Milkshakes were milk with syrup (usually chocolate, caramel, vanilla, banana or strawberry) added from a small cup with a long handle, malt powder if you wanted it malted, and finished off with a generous scoop of icecream. Then the large aluminium cup was put under the machine and mixed. I have a smaller version of a milkshake maker at home, and I used to have one of the aluminium cups too, but it got lost along the way. I now have large plastic ones of the same size. They mostly seem to use cardboard takeaway cups these days. I never heard mention of frappes back then, but I have to say that MacDonalds makes a pretty decent one.

What some have described as 'spiders' we called 'ice cream sodas' when I was a kid living in Goulburn. I think they were made with lemonade, syrup and icecream. It might have been just the soft drink with icecream, but I don't think so - I seem to remember them adding syrup. I remember having red ones (which had the flavour of a creaming soda) and lime ones. I don't remember hearing them called spiders till I moved to Sydney.

Some time last year, we discovered a place on Glebe Point Road which still makes spiders, and they are every bit as good as I remember them. I had a lime spider.

I miss icecream being the way it was in the 50's, with little bits of ice in them. It's too creamy now. I remember getting icecreams at the movies when I was a little kid - a single cone was threepence and a double cone was sixpence.

Another random thing I remember from about 1960 is blue iceblocks. I think the flavour was boysenberry. Also, they were round, like a long cylinder. Don't think blue ones were around for long, because blue is generally not thought of as a proper colour for food. They used to colour things like kerosene blue, so that little kids wouldn't think it was drinkable.

Anyway, that's enough rambling around the past for now. Think I might go and make myself a milkshake!


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 12:22 PM

We had a homemade ice cream store Mitchell's. They were always inventing new flavors using every imaginable fruit you could think of.

I had a fondness for cantalope, orange watermelon, pear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Alice
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 02:35 PM

Small towns here in the west have long distances of open space to travel in between them.
The drug store (pharmacy) tended to be the place that sold a variety of things, and
that included the flavored syrups added to soda water. Classic westerns referred to
sasparilla. We had a nostalgic thread on Mudcat long ago about root beer. Remember that thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Alice
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 02:56 PM

Here is a postcard from the Drugstore Museum in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Click here


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: RangerSteve
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 03:16 PM

SINSULL- I don't know if you have the Turkey Hill brand of icecream where you are, but they make a lemon ice cream. It's actually called Lemon Meringue Pie, with swirls of marshmallow to simulate the meringue and bits of short bread cookies to simulate pie crust. It's excellent, but it's also a seasonal flavor and only comes out in the summer here in NJ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 05:11 PM

Can anyone help me with the origins of Stanley and Dora? Parody of Frankie and Johnny - Stanley and Dora were lovers, met down the Tottenham Court Road, whooping it up at the Palais, where the ice cream fountains flowed....?

On Saturday I sang Stanley and Dora at the Lewes Arms folk club in Lewes, and Jerry Jordan said he remembered hearing it sung by Max Bygraves.... I learnt it at camp in the mid-60s.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 05:12 PM

Some confusion for many of us in these parts came from "soda." Carbonated beverages like Pepsi were called "Pop" around here while an egg cream with ice cream is called a "Soda." And whoever it was upthread there who said the bottled version of cherry Coke or any of the rest is a sad initation hit the nail on the head. I am a Chocolate Coke junkie and my local little ice cream shop (about to open, always on May 1) fixes me a winner!

Related topic.......If you get a channce to see a History Channel program on Coke and Pepsi and the Cola wars, WATCH IT! Ya' know, all those damn History Channel food shows like to kill me.   "America on a Bun" is fantastic!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 05:46 PM

Out here the carbonated things like Coca Cola have always been called "pop," which was a short version of "soda pop," but a "Soda" was just a soda pop with ice cream in it. I've never heard anything about "egg creams.":-)

We had a heck of a time when we first moved to New England. The kids and I asked for pop at the restaurants and they looked at us like we were aliens. We finally remembered to call it "soda." Then my mother-in-law, who was so kind, asked me if I wanted a "tonic water." took me awhile to figure out she meant carbonated mineral water.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 06:31 PM

"Tonic Water" usually means "carbonated Quinine water" - originally intended for use in "Gin & Tonic" to Brits/Aussies.

I like the bitternessm and when having CFS-like symptoms, often found that it would give me a burst of energy, and ease the vague muscle aches.


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 09:31 PM

I grew up in Connecticut and remember the drug store soda fountains of my youth. The one where I went to high school particularly sticks in my mind. We called it "The PO" because it was next to the Post Office, but its official name was the "Green Drug Store" because it was across from the town green in Washington. (Greens are called commons in Massachusetts, but this was Connecticut, so it was a green.) I've been told that a decade before my time, Mrs. Arthur Miller (a/k/a Marilyn Monroe) used to hang out there, but the area so guards the privacy of the many local celebrities that I didn't hear about this story until nearly two decades after I graduated.

The PO made drinks and ice cream treats to order. You could get cherry cokes, cherry lemon cokes, cherry vanilla root beers, and many other combinations of syrup and carbonated water. They made milk shakes, too.

Milk shakes in New England are subject to very regional terminology. Take two scoops of ice cream, add chocolate (or other flavored) syrup, and milk, and then blend until frothy. In Massachusetts, they were called frappes. The Brigham's chain of ice cream shops, based in Boston, also offered "milk shakes" sans ice cream, which is why you had to be careful ordering "milk shakes" in Massachusetts. In Rhode Island, they were called "cabinets" probably due to the influence of the Newport Creamery ice cream shops. Friendly's was based near Springfield, Mass, and the official menu offered "fribbles" (which were thick shakes) and milk shakes (which didn't have so much ice cream in them), but when you went to a Friendly's near Boston, you ordered a frappe instead of a milk shake. In Connecticut, the local term was a "frosted" or a "frost". (Wikipedia hasn't noted that one yet.) Because there were many New Yorkers in the area of my high school (often called "orange platers" because the New York license plate of that day had an orange background), the soda fountain there also understood the term "milk shake." If you added malt powder to the milk shake, it became a "malt" or "malted milk." In other places in America, a "malt" was a milk shake, but where I grew up, a "malt" always had malt in it, and I didn't like malt in my shakes.

My local soda fountain also made egg creams, which are a very New York City thing--chocolate syrup (ideally U-Bet), a little milk, and carbonated water. They also made "dusty sundaes"--malt powder on top of ice cream.

I remember, one by one, watching local pharmacies remove the soda fountains, which were very labor intensive, in favor of additional shelf space to sell other stuff. One other pharmacy in my town turned the soda fountain into more of a lunch counter. But eventually, they were replaced by chain restaurants that originally had made their reputations selling ice cream but had become much broader in service than that--Howard Johnson's (28 flavors), Friendly's (31 flavors), and Litchfield Farms.

It was the mid- and late-70s in Boston that gave rise to the new deluxe ice cream stores (probably starting with Steve's in Davis Square, Somerville), and which have gradually led to the chain/franchise ice cream specialty stores like Ben and Jerry's, Cold Mountain Creamery, Thomas Sweet, etc. Though the Washington, DC area has always had Gifford's.

Of course, soda fountains in pharmacies only happened with locally-owned pharmacies. The idea of one of the national pharmacy chains (CVS, Rite-Aid, Eckerd) offering a soda fountain is inconceivable, and it's a bit of historical lore to be passed along to youth who can only wonder about the mysterious past.


--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: BS: Soda fountains, ice cream and pharmacies
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 09:40 PM

In the States, my wife and I both liked malted milk shakes. When we came to Canada, they only had milk shakes; no malt. Malt was hard to get since it was included with some yeasts and other ingredients that were forbidden because they were used in illegal home made liquor and beer.
Canada was a peculiar place back in the 50's and 60's. There were beer parlors, filled with men, women not allowed. In some towns, women went to one room, men to another- no mixed drinking allowed.
Alberta had a sky pilot for premier for quite a spell.

We still like Brown Cows and make them at home- Ice cream in root beer (coke too).

We often tried wierd drinks at the soda fountain. One that was popular for a while was an ammonia coke- this was in the American southwest; anyone have them elsewhere?


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