Who invented the cocktail straw

On January 3, 1888, the owner of a factory for the production of paper cigarette holders, Marvin Stone, received documents from the Washington Patent Office for the invention of paper straws for drinking cocktails and other liquids. And when a reporter for one of the daily newspapers asked Mr. Stone to tell what prompted him to invent, Marvin shrugged his shoulders: "A common depression." And he told this story.

Once he was sitting in a nasty mood due to the fact that things at the factory were not going well, competitors were lining up on all sides, and he was thinking about how to improve the situation. He thought best of all when he drank a cocktail. He took the glass with a cocktail he had brought, as usual put a rye straw into it (in those days they used natural products for drinking) and began to sip the cocktail. Either for his misfortune, or for luck, but some of the rye straw fibers split and during the next intake of liquid got stuck in Marvin's teeth. This he could not stand: a glass with a cocktail flew in one direction, a straw in the other.

But this did not solve the problem, Marvin wanted to drink even more. Then he took the paper, smeared its edge along the entire length with glue and wound it in a spiral around a pencil. He got a straw from which you could drink a cocktail. True, one should drink very quickly, since the paper got wet in the first few seconds and ceased to hold its shape.

Stone began to ponder how to avoid such an incident. Initially, he decided to cover the tissue paper with paraffin, but this did not solve the problem. Of course, the straws melted more slowly, but still quickly enough, so it was not suitable for those who like to savor a cocktail.

The answer came a few days later, when Marvin was brought a parcel sent from a neighboring state. Stone really liked the stamp, it was very beautiful, he peeled it off and began to twirl it in his hands, examining it from all sides. In those days, postage stamps in the United States were made from Manila paper (the raw material of which included Manila hemp, which made the paper very durable). And the owner of a factory producing paper cigarette holders came up with a great idea - to make cocktail straws from manila paper.

There was only one hitch: how to make the diameter of the straw? This is also important, because the smaller the diameter, the more efforts must be made in order to raise all the liquid from the glass upward. But I didn't want to make the straw too wide, since some cocktails included freshly squeezed lemon juice, which often “loses” a bone in a glass. So Stone took as a basis such a diameter of the straw that the drinker could not by mistake "pull in" the pit from the lemon ...

So, Stone received the patent on January 3, 1888. And already in 1890, his main business was the manufacture of cocktail straws. In any case, it brought in much more income than the production of cigarette mouthpieces. At the same time, in the early years, cocktail straws were made by hand. It was only in 1906 that an automatic machine for making paper straws was invented.

And the next stage in the evolution of straws took place in the mid-30s, when one of the hot days realtor Joseph Friedman dropped in to have a few words with his younger brother Albert in the cafe belonging to the latter. At this time, Joseph's niece, little Judy, tried to bend a straw in a tall glass more comfortably, and nothing came of it.

Joseph asked Albert to bring a long screw that would fit the diameter of the straw. He put the straw on the screw, and about the middle of the straw he wound the dental floss several times, and quite tightly. After half a minute, he pulled out a straw and saw that in the place where the paper was pulled by the thread, a corrugated tube was formed, which was bent over the glass without squeezing.

On September 28, 1937, Friedman received a patent for his "drinking straw", but none of the straw manufacturers were interested in his idea. Joseph then decided to end the property sale and focus on making his own straws. The Friedman Flexible Tubing Corporation was incorporated in 1939, and ten years later made Friedman a millionaire.

And finally, the last stage in the evolution of straws took place in the second half of the twentieth century, when Otto Deifenbach, the owner of a small sewing machine shop in Baltimore, watched as his wife bathed their little daughter, and wound a cellophane wrapper from a cigarette pack on a steel rod. The girl loved to swim, and dad spent a long time wrapping up cellophane. And when the water procedures were completed, Otto saw that he was holding something like a cocktail straw in his hands.

He immediately imagined how happy his daughter would be when she would drink milk from this tube, because this is how she sees milk rising up the tube. And although, as in the case of Friedman, everything was not so simple - no one dared to take up the manufacture of cellophane straws, but patience and work "frayed" everything. Deifenbach invented a machine for making these straws and became a millionaire ...

And in conclusion, I cannot remain silent about the most promising type of straw. In May 2006, Danish inventor Torben Vestergaard Frandsen proposed his own version of a straw, from which you can drink water from any reservoir, even from the Moskva River within the capital. Fradsen's invention has already received the name "Straws of Life" and resembles a miniature flute, inside which there are all kinds of filters and a chamber filled with iodine. Each cleaning straw can handle up to 700 liters of water. Its cost is very democratic - about $ 3, 5. As stated by the producers of "Straws of Life", they want to provide their miracle 17 of the poorest countries in the world