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Credits: Science Museum

Invented by John Mervyn Nooth (1737-1828) in 1774, this device was made to reproduce natural spa water for medicinal uses. Following Joseph Priestley’s (1733-1804) experiments, carbon dioxide mixed with water was thought to be effective against many diseases such as scurvy. Nooth’s invention, which made carbon dioxide-rich water, was popular and sold in large numbers.

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Glossary: scurvy

Disease caused by a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is contained in fresh fruit and vegetables. Symptoms include weakness, painful joints, and bleeding gums.

Glossary: spa

A resort with mineral springs which are thought to have properties that help cure or soothe illnesses.

Glossary: Nooth's apparatus

device to mix carbon dioxide and water for medicinal uses