Actually, the name “Seltzer” came from the German town of Niederselters. In 1772, scientist Joseph Priestly who “sniffed” out oxygen wrote it could prevent scurvy. So, the next year Jacob Schweppes (yes, that Schweppes) of London, produced and sold this medical marvel. “Seltzer” not only rid one of “feverish ailments and biliousness,” but could cure nervous affections brought on by “much speaking– or dancing.”

Dr. Philip Syng Physick introduced the artificial carbonated water to America in 1807 for relief of gastric disorders (Do you remember when your bubbe called a laxative a “physic?” (OK mine did).

As for the egg cream? Mel Brooks described its curative powers in a 1975 interview. When one of his childhood friends was hurt playing ball, he would scream, “Bring an egg cream!” An egg cream, Brooks described, “can do anything … Psychologically, it is the opposite of circumcision.

Source: Excerpt from an article written by Marnie Winston-Macauley

About this entry