Brooklyn, New York
John Matthews (1808–1870)
The old gentleman lays upon his bed of marble.
Known as the “Soda Fountain King” in the mid-19th century, John Matthews is developed a device to carbonate soft drinks. He had learned his craft in his native England. By 1865, when he retired, his manufacturing plant at First Avenue, between 26th and 27th Streets, was mass producing the tin-lined, cast-iron soda fountains that he had perfected. More than 500 establishments in New York City alone were equipped with his devices.