Reading, Writing & Other Addictions

Facing Reality Through Fiction

All You Need to Know About Straws

on 01/03/2015

234_straw-940x626-300x199Did you know that the paper drinking straw was patented on January 3, 1888?  Oh, there were straws before then.  In fact, archaeologists discovered a gold and lapis lazui drinking straw in a Sumerian tomb.  (By the way, in case you were wondering lapis lazui is a bright blue semi-precious stone and the Sumerians were an ancient people who lived in what would today be Iraq.) Apparently the Sumerian men used straws made from hollow rye grass to drink beer. (Archaeologists found a seal dating bace to 3100 B.C. to prove it.) Paper straws were not invented until 1888.  (You knew, I was going to say that, didn’t you?)  Legend has it that Marvin Stone, a paper cigarette holder manufacturer was sitting around with some friends sipping his mint julep through a hollow rye straw, not particularly enjoying the gritty residue the straw left in his drink, not to mention the way the straw would break down after a while.  So he went back to his factory and wound strips around pencils, and then began playing with a wax-coating, so the straw wouldn’t break down.  Two years later, Stone’s factory was producing more straws than cigarette holders. Now, most straws are made from plastic, though you can still find paper straws. it’s estimated that McDonald’s alone used at least 60 million plastic straws daily world wide.  That’s a lot of straws.

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