Seltzer water or “Two Cents Plain” is simply plain tap water with a shot of CO2. The blending of the two creates the fizzy—drink that makes us bubbly.

Who Invented Seltzer Water?

It’s around 1772 when chemist, Joseph Priestly, experiments and invents the carbonation process. He mixes the colorless gas with flat water—boom, seltzer water is born.  After, publishing his booklet “Directions for Impregnating Water with Fixed Air”, and coining the term, “soda water.” Joseph Priestly becomes the inventor of seltzer water.

Who Invented the Glass Seltzer Bottle?

Although the invention of seltzer water is in the late 1700s, it’s not until 1829 when two Parisian jewelers, Deleuze and Dutillet, invent the Siphon Seltzer Bottle. While Using a hollow corkscrew and a valve to squirt the soda they could maintain pressure while keeping the remaining soda from going flat. Sadly, the popularity of the seltzer bottle dwindles following the destruction of many European manufacturing plants during WWII.

What is the Meaning of “Two Cents Plain”?

However, it’s during The Great Depression in New York that a mix of water plus CO2 would become the popular beverage of choice for many of the poor and the thirsty.  For instance, requesting the cheapest drink at the soda fountain meant asking for “Two Cents Plain” or seltzer water.  To clarify, a “Two Cents Plain” is simply a glass of unsalted flat—water with a splash of CO2. Thereby, costing the buyer 2¢ to quench his thirst.  In general, the carbonated water would have been dispensed from a pretty glass seltzer bottle with a siphon screwed to the top of it.

If only those two Parisians could see their seltzer bottles today, being used by many as colorful and beautiful accessories in home decor.

vintage seltzer water bottles on window sill

(left) Photographer: Pia Ulin via blanaid, (right) Photographer: Pierre Wester; Stylist: Camilla Julner, Found Julner

vintage soda siphon display on a beach

Seltzer by the Sea. Photographer: Idha Lindhag

vintage seltzer water bottle decorating

(left) Photographer: Clive Tompset; Stylist: Marie Delice Karlsson via Decor 8 (right) Pinterest

 Shelly Trbuhovich’s home of Galerie Montmartre via The Design Files

Found Cote de Texas