Parsi connection with the soda/aerated water industry

I am Dinyar Patel,  a professor of history at the University of South Carolina, currently based in Mumbai on a Fulbright fellowship where I have been researching some aspects of Parsi history. I would like to ask my readers for assistance with one topic of interest: the Parsi connection with the Indian soda or “aerated water” industry. In particular, I am interested in the history of the longstanding Parsi soda companies: Duke’s, Roger’s, Pallonji’s, etc. I have already interviewed a member of the family that ran Duke’s, a former manager at Roger’s, and I have been consulting newspaper sources and Parsee Prakash. I would be very interested in talking with any members of the families that ran the other soda companies, anyone who worked in a soda factory, as well as anyone who might have relevant source materials (such as company reports or publications).

 

Parsis were pioneers of the soda industry in India and other parts of Asia where they settled in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In India, at least, the aerated water industry originally catered to a British clientele, but soda consumption quickly became popular within the community. It may interest readers to know that the earliest reference that I have found, so far, to raspberry soda in Bombay is from 1907, manufactured by Duke & Sons and sold for “12 annas, per dozen.”

 

I can be reached at dinyar.patel@gmail.com. Thank you for any assistance which you might be able to provide.

 

3 comments

  • Good job, Dinyar, in preserving the history of Parsi soda manufacturers!

  • Ardeshir Bakhtiani

    Hi Dinyar,
    Thank you for all you do.We met in several occasions while in Virginia,thru ZAMWI.
    The few I know are located in Pune,camp area near Sharbatwalla chowk,of course many years ago when I used to study and live there,Which I am not sure are there anymor.
    Please check it out as theirs wee family run.
    Good luck and hope to see you in Los Angeles where we live now.
    Best of luck.

  • Rohinton Panthaki

    Dear Dinyar.
    Myself Rohinton Panthaki from Baroda born and brought up in Ahmedabad.
    Like to highlight the following
    In Ahmedabad a soda water company called P Dhanjibhoy & sons was in operation around 1970. They made soda lemon ginger, raspberry orange ice cream soda. The owner expired. His son rohinton was in Mumbai but wherabout not known. His daughter Wabiz married to Fali Ghaswalla had settled in US.
    another is Kohla in Navsari who still makes soda lemon and double power soda (my favourite). Way back in 1965 poor people use to order marramari for 2 person which means 1 soda and 1 lemon and they use to mix 1/2 & 1/2 so it would cost less.
    Regards and I wish you all the best

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