If you’ve been to a party in your life -- or even if you haven’t, because you hate parties -- you’re probably familiar with Solo cups, the plastic, molded, polystyrene drinking vessels that often come in the color red. They’re great at keg parties, and serve as the ultimate conduit for drinking light beer during a rousing game of Beer Pong.
Anyway, in a bit of sad news that’s trickled down the beverage pipeline today, the inventor of red Solo cups, Robert Leo Hulseman, died last week at the age of 84, according to CNN.
Hulseman worked in the family business -- his dad started the Solo Cup Company in 1936 -- and he eventually climbed the company ladder until he was CEO. It was at this outpost that where Hulseman devised manufacturing stronger, polystyrene cups in the 1970s. Previously, the company made the kind of conical paper cups you might find at the dentist’s office. Luckily, those things are few and far between these days, and it’s only because Hulseman was an agile business man who realized that plastic is more durable than paper. Go figure.
Anyway, the next time you're clutching one of these bad boys, take a minute to pour one out for the man who revolutionized the way America imbibes. It’s the least you can do as a longtime consumer of these cups, which are now ubiquitous as about anything can be.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.