R. Harold Morgan: Beverage Manufacture (1938)

Another early reference of considerable research value is R. Harold Morgan's Beverage Manufacture (Non-Alcoholic), a British volume published in 1938.  Morgan’s introductory comments included:

The term 'mineral water' nowadays is rather a generic one, applying not only to naturally occurring water containing mineral salts, but is loosely used in Britain to cover all the aerated products of a beverage factory…

The genuine mineral water has long been known and valued for the medicinal and curative value of its dissolved salts.  Most of them contain carbon dioxide though they are not carbonated to the degree associated with carbonated beverages.  Records show that in the early days of civilization men sought for a water with a pleasing taste and a beneficial action on the body.  The Greeks drank and bathed in springs of mineral water, while the Romans founded and popularized various springs, many of which have developed into present-day Spas.

Artificial aeration is probably due to Priestly who suggested that water charged with carbon dioxide could be used as a beverage.  On the other hand, a Professor Venee, of Montpelier, France, is stated to have first made soda-water in 1750, by mixing a little soda and acid in a bottle of water – thus the term soda-water.  Incidentally, it was found that water containing carbon dioxide gave life, i.e., it stimulated, while at the same time carbon dioxide was a powerful antiseptic in that by replacing oxygen it prevented the growth of deleterious matters.  Actually carbonic gas was first invented in the early part of the 17th century and is thought to be the first gas ever invented.  Von Helmont, a Belgian, first prepared it by wood burning and by treating mineral carbonates with acid.  In 1767 Priestly invented a process for charging liquids by 'fixed air' (carbon dioxide) by exposing shallow pans containing water near fermenting vessels in a brewery…A few years later the same pioneer practically originated the present-day 'soda-water' by passing into water the carbon dioxide gas given off by the decomposition of chalk with acids.