Detroiters know it as “pop,” but there are those from other locales that cringe and irritably add “soda” in correction. As it turns out, however, Detroit has a unique relationship with the carbonated brew that arguably gives the city naming rights.
The First Soda Pop
According to at least one source -- Food Reference -- Vernors Ginger Ale was the nation's first soda pop, and it was discovered by accident in Detroit. As the story goes, James Vernor, a clerk in a drug store in Detroit, was experimenting with a recipe to make his own Ginger Ale, a non-alcoholic version of Ginger Beer imported from Ireland. When he went off to fight in the Civil War in 1962, he stored his experimental Ginger Ale in an oak cask. When he returned at war's end, he sampled the now aged brew and knew he was on to something. He started selling it out of the soda fountain in his own Woodward Avenue drug store in 1866.
The Term "Pop"
"Pop" is a term either used alone or teamed with soda to describe soft drinks/carbonated beverages. It was coined by Faygo, another Detroit-based bottling company.
Faygo brought more than just the "pop" to the soft-drink industry. Faygo is known for its host of flavors, including Red Pop and Rock'n'Rye, as well as its relatively cheap prices.