Clipped From The New York Times

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 - A witty woman customer who saw the new soda...
A witty woman customer who saw the new soda fountain in THE TIMES BUILDING Drug 8tore called It one of the Seven Wonders of New Yorlc and said sh had forgotten what the other six were. She was right. That fountain In th Hegeman store is the only one In the United States with its own refrigerating and Ice cream and carbonating plant. It embodies all the latest Innovations and improvements in the manufacture and sale of soda water. It is the culmination of seventy-four years' progress in the fountain builders' art, THE FIRST SODA-FOUNTAIN. The father of - the soda fountain Industry was John Matthews, and the firat soda fountain, made in 1S32, was carried around on a cart. Matthews made 'his soda water at home at -night and peddled it on Canal Street in the daytime. Later he moved into .a stone building on Twenty-seventh Street, Just west 'of First Avenue, which had formerly-been used for a JaiL That building, more' than a' hundred years old now. la still part of the New York headquarters rof -the American Soda Fountain Co. Matthews generated his carbonic acid gas in a crude fashion at least. It would be considered crude now. His generator was a copper vessel containing two chambers. Jn one chamber wa put marble dust and In the other sulphuric acid. When the acid was introduced into the marble dust chamber carbonic acid gas was given off. This was then passed through water.-.-to : be purified, and went Into the copper fountain, a heavy closed cylinder with spherical ends. Before the gas was let In the fountain was partly filled with water. A violent shaking up of the gas and the water produced the finished product, soda water. Sometimes the process was varied by tho use of bicarbonate of soda instead of marble dust, but not often, for the marble dust was cheaper. With his fountain once charged, its owner would peddle it through the streets. He kept his syrups in ordinary glass bottles and had only his eyes and his steady hand to determine the amount of flavoring- to go Into each glass. Everything he usel waa carried along in the cart lemons, knives for cutting . them, towels for polishing his glasses, everything. Only a little while after Matthews started Into the soda water business Charles Lipplnoott began to op a erate a - fountain In Philadelphia. And about the ' same time James W. Tufts, a druggist of Med ford. Mass., a town near Boston. Installed on In his drug store. All three of these men got rich making and selling soda water. Each one built up a big con-, cern, and each one Introduced Improvements over the original crude apparatus. Fifteen years ago the three big. companies one In Boston, one In New York, and one In Philadelphia were merged and became the American Soda Fountain Co- :-." 75.000 FOUNTAINS IN UNITED STATES. Though the' Industry never lagged, the progress In the last few years seems to have been much great- er than that of the earlier stages. Crude as the original outfit of John Matthews was. the difference between it and the fountain of - twenty years ago Is not as startling as the difference between the fountains between 1880 and 1906. At present there are 73,000 soda disposing fountains In the United Slates, doing a business of S150.000.000 per annum, an average of $2,000 per fountain. As the thirsty wayfarer stands beside the polished onyx fountain on the ground floor : of the Times Building, and Idly sipe his Ice cream soda, little doea " he know of the labor contributed to his enjoyment by men and machinery thirty-five feet beneath him. If ho wasn't told no one would believe, for Instance, that the electrio motors that are part of the equipment of the Hegeman fountain number five, and altogether they aggregate a capacity of twenty-seven horse power: yet that is the fact.. E0UAL TO SEVEN TONS OF ICE A DAY. . Most people have an idea that Ice ts Indispensable to a soda fountain, because one goes there to get ice-cold drinks. The Impression is a false one, . Ice is eliminated from the Hegeman fountain. Ice cream served at the counter here Is a misnomer, for It is crvam froxen, not by ice, but by brine kept at the temperature of sero, and packed In brine at -0 de--. greea. A stream of water kept at a temperature on or two degrees above the freezing point keeps the soda water as cold as It can get without turning it into ice. As a concession to those who must have crushed-Ice drinks and these beverages are not drunk much these days a few pounds of real Ice are manufactured down under th Subway every day. but It Is a Quantity too small. to oount. The freezing, work that is done in the private refrigerating- plant Is equal to that which would be accomplished by the melting of seven tons of toe v day. : - - SUBTERRANEAN PLANT OF THE FOUNTAIN. Astonishing as are the architecture and the clever mechanical devices of the fountain Itself, the real eurr rise comes with the first view of the Rubtsr-ranean plant, a flight of statrg below the 8ubway level. After seeing the complicated machinery of this carbonating and refrigerating plant one. can never drink another soda, upstairs without having visions of. motors, and 'huge vtchy tanks, and com preseors, and things like that, -; MAKING ICE CREAM BY MACHINERY. ; The making of Ice-cream la the prise attraction. -Workers are at it just aa the visitor enters.' Motors are bussing. Two men lean Interestedly - over a mammoth can and peer at its contents. One of them tata tbe cork out of a bottle and the odor cf vanilla, fills the underground room. ; Then the men lift the can , toward, the huge, cylinder with a copper pot on top of it, ' - - . What looks like one cylinder Is really two one In-Side the other. Between them circulates brine at a temperature of aero. Th material for ice cream Is J poured Into the coppe pot until It Is full, and runs from there . down into the Inner .cylinder. This. cylinder holds ten gallons, but only five gallons of unfrozen cream go in at once, because freesing bring expansion.- When 'the cylinder Is half full every opening is closed and things begin to happen. The cylinder does riot revolve, only the blades Inside it. These blades, in appearance, are much like those in an ordinary Ice cream f reexer. The steel blades on tho Inside go one way and the wooden blades on thr outside go the other. Each set of blades revolves sixty times a minute. A GALLON OF ICE CREAM EVERY; MINUTE. With the brine at sero it takes only eleven minutes to get the cream into a semi-hardened condition. By that time, through expansion, the cylinder is nearly full. The slipping of a lever at the bottom lets the half -hardened material out Into cans. When one 'four-gallon packing, can Is filled the lever-is closed until another one can. be put under. When all Is out the process Is repeated.. ... ' The other night the cries from the fountain for more ice cream were so insistent that men had to be put to work half an hour after midnight to replenish the vanished supply. When the cream enters the packing cans half frozen the cans are put Into the packing box. where they rest In brine kept at about HO degrees. In this packing box. too. are stored soda water and mineral waters in ten-gallon tanks. There is room to pack seventy gallons of Ice cream. Only the capacity of the t packing plant limits the supply upstairs at the fountain for. as far as the making goes. It would be easy to keep, the supply well ahead of any possible demand.. , REDUCIN0 THE TEMPERATURE. The largest of all the motors, one of fifteen horse power. Is' the one that compresses the ammonia. The compressing outfit is the same kind that is to be found In an Ice factory. As is well known to every-: body who has studied elementary chemistry, the making of Ice is by the absorption of heat from water by ammonia. Tho energy required in the compression 1 absorbed In tbe form of heat from surrounding object. When the surrounding object is not ordl--nary water, but brine. It does not turn Into Ice, owing to its great density, but retains its original form to a point far below sero. Brine is much more useful for freesing purposes than a solid mass like ice. especially when the latter .is not aa cold as the former. The ammonia pipes pass through a four-hundred-gallon tank of brine and send Its temperature down to zero, sometimes lower. CIRCULATING THE BRINE. A three horse-power motor pumps the brine from the big tank through smaller tanks In the packing box. through the space between tbe two ice cream cylinders and upstairs through chambers under the counter of the fountain. There Is a continual flow through the pipes, so that every gallon ot brine comes back to the big tank and into contact with tho ammonia pipes every little while. There Is one motor, three horse power, whose only duty is to revolve the blades In the cylindrical Ice cream freezer. - The engineer can make them go around fast or slow, as he chooses. Only the turning of a button Is necessary to regulate the force. SWEET WATER AT A TEMPERATURE OF 34. Then there Is the motor for pumping the "sweet water, three horse power.' The t "sweet water u kept in a tank through which pass the pipes containing the freesing . brine. Of course, the brine pipes have cut-offs, so that tbe flow can be stopped tbrougtA certain pipes while It continues through others. Thus, the "sweet" water can be kept at the desired temperature of- thirty-three or thirty-four degrees, to be pumped up under the fountain to cool the soda pipes. . . CARBONATING WATERS FROM LIQUEFIED GAS. The last of the five "motors attached to the fountain is the one that runs the carbonator. The capacity of that, too. Is three .horse power. - They make their own soda water here. The carbonator is used for making soda water, vlchy, seltser and klsslngen. Its main part ts the steel drum tbe contents of which are subjected to a pressure of one hundred and seventy-five pounds to the square Inch. To make -soda water a five -gallon drum, containing liquefied carbonlo acid gaa. Is attached. Into the carbonator pass this gaa and filtered water from the Tnna Building reservoir. The heavy pressure forces them together and that is soda water. The soda water Is pumped Into four ten-gallon tanks In the packing box; and from them it flows through pipes directly to the onyx draught fixtures on the fountain. . - ... If vlchy Is to be made Instead ef plain soda the carbonator Is connected with a ten-gallon tank- las-tened to the wall about eight feet from the floor. Into this tank mineral spring water runs and la carbonated by the use of liquefied carbonlo acid gasithe result Is the vlchy of the fountain. Seltser and Klsslngen are made In the same way. There Is a separate tank for every mineral water, and In the packing box there are three storage tanksjust like those used for soda .water, for the vlchy, the seltser, and tbe Klsslngen. ' - With all the electrio motors In the sub-basement there Is not the slightest heat. - Even th covering of a motor Is cool to the touch. The electric power it-, self Is generated blocks away and brought in by wires. .There -Is very little noise, too. . APPARATUS FOR HOT SODA IN WINTER. The hot soda apparatus Is not working yet, but . when the proper time come It can be lit up. The heat will be supplied by a gaa burner and the natural expansion will be force enough to send the water to the fountain fixtures. The hot water la In a ten-gallon tank, from which pipes run through the drum above the burner. , -, -. v ' - WATCHINO THE THERMOMETERS. Tbe engineer who runs this underground plant has to maintain several different temperatures. For In

Clipped from
  1. The New York Times,
  2. 28 May 1906, Mon,
  3. Page 7

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