1927 drugstore soda fountain — Adams and Bright in Hamburg, Pennsylvania

Mod Betty of Retro Roadmap is at it again — in her third, very delightful video financed by her successful Kickstarter campaign, she profiles Adams and Bright — a 1906 drugstore in Hamburg, Pa., that still operates its time capsule 1927 soda fountain. Watch it and learn: Why old drugstores added soda fountains to begin with — now we know!


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  1. Andi says

    Oh no! I drove right by Hamburg, PA yesterday—drove by twice in the past three days on my way to and from NY. Have driven by there a hundred times before on similar visits to NJ. NEXT TIME I will stop!!

    I love this video—somehow I haven’t seen any of Mod Betty’s other videos but will remedy that today!

    There are treasures in many of these small Pennsylvania towns. Thank you Mod Betty!!

    • says

      Andi – Hamburg is definintely worth a detour off of the highways – now you know to plan some time to spend there while you’re there!

      One place that closed for the day before we could highlight it is Miller’s 5&10 – it’s a mix of 5/10 and funky finds – we wrote about it here – it’s a fun adventure because you never know what you might find! http://retroroadmap.com/spot/millers-five-ten/

      Also – you’ll see the awesome Pennsylvania Dutch Gift Haus in my latest vid – just 10 min down the road from Hamburg and worth a visit!

  2. Shann Elble says

    Here’s another retro tidbit about pharmacies & soda fountains – the syrup used to make coca cola was sold as a remedy to settle an upset stomach. When I was a child we always had a bottle in the frig from our little local pharmacy/soda fountain – Metzgers.

    • Jacki says

      I know someone still sells the coke syrup. It might be Vermont Country Store.
      Loved the video, just wish the interview wasn’t so drowned out by the background noise. At some points it was difficult to hear what they were saying.

  3. virginia says

    I dearly miss the drug store soda fountains of my childhood — This one might be worth a special road trip. How I wish these would be brought back. Egg salad sandwiches on white toast with a real Coca-Cola on the side. Heaven. They were also great places for young people to experience a first job.

    What we’ve gained in convenience, we’ve lost in personality.

    Thanks for the info and the for the link to the very cool retro site.

  4. says

    This is wonderful! We have one of these soda fountains in my tiny little downtown. It used to be a pharmacy but now it’s an antique mall, obviously one of my all time favorite places in town. They still make sodas with Phosphates too. One of the barstools has a placard on it, evidently John F. Kennedy sat there when visiting, you can sit in his stool and sip soda then shop for antiques.

  5. Carol says

    When I was a small child in the mid 60’s, my Mom would take me to the drugstore after a trip to the dentist. The drugstore was from the early 20th century and had a black and white tile floor with tiny tiles, and ice cream parlor tables and chairs. My dentist was an older gentleman with a bushy mustache that smelled like scented pipe tobacco. His name was Dr. Goodman and his hands shook when he gave me a filling. Eeeek! He was so nice and gave suckers. The office was in an Art Deco building with curved wall corners and an elevator that required an operator. It had huge frameless double glass doors with large chrome handles. The doors were too heavy for me to open. It was a few doors down from the drugstore. My visits to Dr. Goodman and the soda fountain are some of my favorite childhood memories. Even at a very young age, I realized I was in time capsules and how very special they were. They fascinated me. Dr. Goodman gave me two fillings when I was 9, and they were replaced this year. Kind of made me sad to see them go. I loved my fillings because Dr. Goodman gave them to me. How sentimental is that?

  6. Laurie Louise says

    I grew up in a small Texas town, and our drugstore had a soda fountain. Ice cream cones 5 cents a scoop! We had run of the town from a very young age, and I loved sitting at the soda fountain eating ice cream or drinking a cherry Coke.

    A few years ago, I taught Charlotte’s Web to third graders. There’s a line that says something about something hanging around like boys outside a drug store. I stopped and said, “You know they’re not outside a Walgreens, right?” Then launched into tales of small towns and drugstores. The kids were amazed that such a wondrous place ever existed and peppered me with questions. Then we got online and pulled up pictures on the smart board. It was one of those wonderful teaching moments that arise from time to time. And hopefully the kids understood the book and their history a little better.

  7. tammyCA says

    That was fun to watch…love old-fashioned soda fountain/pharmacies! It’s so great when they are loved, preserved & still in business. I can think of many movies that have the same soda fountain look..”It’s a Wonderful Life” being one of them. 🙂

  8. virginia says

    Carol — Love your Dr. Goodman story. So sweet and beautifully written.

    Laurie Louise — What a wonderful classroom experience!

    Nanette–Phosphates-so delicious.

    • Carol says

      Thank you Virginia. I sort of went off on a tangent, but the soda shop visits were only after a visit to Dr. Goodman. There were so many strong male role models in my life as a small child and throughout my childhood. My father was a good man, but was a very spoiled only child who had no patience for children. I just noticed true interest and kindness in people. My grandfathers were just about “perfect”. I have loved Walter Cronkite since I was a toddler. Apparently I was a very noisy child and had to sit on the sofa during the newscast every night. Mr. Rogers was the best thing on TV ever. And of course lovely Dr. Goodman whose eyes would twinkle when he looked at you. What I perceived not to have at home, I found everywhere else without looking or seeking. From grandfathers, to doctors to teachers, and even my best friend’s father, a retired Army Colonel. He was strict but awesome. I was very fortunate. By the way, I couldn’t dream up a better Mom than the one I was given.

  9. Geronimom says

    Loved reading everyone’s memories of frat soda fountains! That video SO took me back to long ago days of back-to-school shopping with my mom. No shopping trip was complete without her insisting we stop off at our local Woolworth’s Drug Store, which had a long wishbone Formica covered counter in their soda fountain. Mom liked everything – but usually ordered a slice of warm cherry pie (NEVER cold – I can still hear her complaining how pie must always be served warm -!). I always ordered the same thing – a chocolate malted milk shake – the kind with the fizzy stuff in it. It had to be malted, for some reason, too- no other kind would do! That, with a BLT was pure heaven! Man….I miss those days….but not those calories 😉

  10. Mary says

    The huge old soda fountain at Wakulla Springs Hotel and Resort, not far from Tallahasssee, FL., is still operating and is well worth a visit, as is the hotel. There are also boat trips outside (where alligators surface often) and a swimming hole, too.

  11. Joe Felice says

    All us old fogies have fond memories of times spent in diners, drug stores, 5 and dimes, and ice-cream shops, all with soda fountains. The only negative memories are from Montgomery, Alabama, where the “coloreds” had to sit on the other side of the wall, and not at the counter. Even as a kid, I could not understand that. Thank God we didn’t have that here in Colorado. Hey, I would like to put a non-operative soda fountain–handles & dispenser– on the wall when I turn my dining room into Joe’s Diner. Does anyone know where I can get something like that?

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