Joseph Priestley (24 March 1733 – 6 February 1804) was an English theologian, clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, political theorist, and friend of Benjamin Franklin.

In 1767, Priestley lived in Leeds, England, next to a brewery. He was given permission to perform scientific experiments above the brewery vats, and found that when he held a bowl of water above the brewery gasses, which he called "fixed air", they infused the water and made it bubbly.

Priestley had thus made the first drinkable glass of soda, excitedly sharing the beverage with his friends. However, Priestley paid no mind to the economic potential of his discovery, and soft drinks would only be produced many years later.

During the American Revolutionary War, the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton created a replica of Priestley's soda apparatus.