At the dawn of the 20th century, soda fountains made their debut in local pharmacies. Their novelty attracted everyone in the community. Soon, pharmacies were attracting customers, not just patients. At this point, pharmacists moved their compounding labs and dispensing counters to the back of the store. This emptied their window space to display their new and shiny soda fountain machines. This new dynamic propelled the pharmacy into what it is today; not just a medication center, but also a place for commodities. This widened the pharmacists' scope of practice from just apothecary duties to other responsibilities, such as adjusting soda flavors.
- "The soda fountain is the most valuable, most useful, most profitable and all together, most beneficial business building feature assimilated by the drug store in a generation" (John Todd Somerset).
- There were pharmacists, such as Richard Armor, who were resistant to incorporate soda fountain machines, ice cream, and other non-drug commodities to their pharmacy practices.
- The busiest store in American in 1920, "Liggett's Drugstore in Grand Central Station" had about 12,000 people pass through each day. Out of those 12,000, about 8,000 came for the soda fountain machines.
- 8,000 glasses of soda a day means 2,920,000 glasses a year. Assuming 8 ounces per glass, this would stretch 389 miles. This is the distance from Chicago to Milwaukee.
- It was estimated that soda sales along with other impulse buys in 1920, brought in half a million dollars a year with a net profit margin of 33%.