1 March 1936, New York Times, "Lexicon of the Soda Jerker" by Helen Dallis, pg. X10:
Most of the expressions were discovered by Columbia University students who were assigned to cover drug stores throughout the city. Almost all of the terms were found in New York. A few were in use generally, but most of them were limited to certain sections. Water, which might be "aqua pura" in a drug store on Park Avenue, was just "one on the city" down around the Battery.
9 September 1936, Middletown (NY) Times Herald, "Lunch Room Jargon," pg. 4, col. 3:
One on the city
Hudson River ale
One off the roof
7 May 1950, Oakland (CA) Tribune, pg. 122(?):
For months, while waiting for a break on Broadway, Lucille (Ball -- ed.) was a soda jockey in a Times Square drugstore. She still dots her conversation with expressions like: "Straight Kelly" (orange juice), "City Juice" (water) and "Sweet Alice" (milk).
25 June 1978, Chicago Tribune, pg. H32:
Water was city juice, Adam's ale, dog soup, eighty-one or one on the city.