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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Drinking Straw Day

I had no idea there were so many things to do with drinking straws besides of course, sipping. I especially appreciate Mr. Marvin C. Stone's patent. I can't drink anything cold without a straw. Can you? I don't think Marvin Stone could either. It appears the notion for the drinking straw appealed to his gusto for mint juleps. Can you imagine all those elegant, large, trimmed flowered hats bobbing up and down at the Kentucky Derby, while the women were sogging a sip on a Mint Julep? They must have been doing that for quite a while, the first Kentucky Derby was on May 17, 1875. The horses were eating alfalfa while the natives were slurping on rye. Talk about soggy:) Well, that's probably how it went before Marvin came along. He devised his straw idea based on the success of his paper cigarette holders. On January 3, 1888 Marvin C. Stone received his patent for the first wax drinking straw. No more natural rye grass drinking straws. By 1890, Stone Industrial was producing more straws than cigarette holders. In 1906, the first machine was invented by Stone's Corporation to machine-wind straws, putting an end to the hand-winding process. So you see, that's why we're celebrate Drinking Straw Day!

The Legend

Legend has it that Marvin Stone invented the first paper drinking straw while sipping a mint julep after work.

Stone, a manufacturer of paper cigarette holders, was drinking with friends, using the traditional natural rye grass straw. Dissatisfied with the way straws would break down and leave a gritty residue in the drink, Stone fashioned his first straw by winding strips of paper around a pencil, removing the pencil, and gluing the strips together.  This improved device was test-marketed at a local drinking establishment and enthusiastically received.  Stone then refined his design by using paraffin-coated manila paper to prevent the straws from becoming soggy and disintegrating. He patented the product in 1888, and by 1890 his factory was producing more straws than cigarette holders. (source)

The Fun!

The drinking straw is a device used for transferring liquid, usually a drink from one location to another. Okay, so what else can you do with a drinking straw you ask? Well, there are those who devote a great amount of time rating them. Then there are those who have fun with an oboe. You, on the other hand, can enjoy some Exploratorium Science Snacks. (fulfilling; for kids and teachers:) or design a detector while blowing Mickey Mouse Style bubbles. Want more Bubbleology. Sure, you can make your own bubbles while having Drinking Straw Day Fun. BTW, Joseph B. Friedman, is the inventor of the flexible straw. 

Resources
1. Stone Industrial History
2. Fun With Food & Straws
3. Drinking Straw Day Fun
4. Make Your Own Bubbles
5. Bubbleology Mickey Mouse Style
6. Coupled Resonant Pendulums

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