Robert Leo Hulseman has died, CNN reported Thursday. He was 84.
You probably don’t know his name, but as country singer Toby Keith puts it,, you’ve probably used his most famous invention, the disposable plastic Solo Cup, at more than a few “tailgates, barbecues, fairs and festivals.”
“It was sometime in the 1970s that Hulseman came up with the now-ubiquitous cups that are such a party staple,” according to CNN.
While many an adult beverage has been pounded in the iconic red cups, Mr. Hulseman also lays claim to an invention enjoyed by millions many a work-day morning.
As CNN noted, Mr. Hulseman also invented the “Solo Traveler coffee cup lids.”
According to foodie website Edible Geography, that invention practically paved the way for taking your favorite coffeehouse drinks to go.
The lid, Edible Geography explained, quoting promotional materials for a 2007 drinking-lid art exhibit, “was designed to accommodate the nose and lip of a drinker” and with it “the necessary height of the lid made it useful for foam-topped gourmet coffees.”