Pour one out for a man you admired but whose name you never knew: Robert Hulseman, the inventor of the iconic red Solo cup—beloved talisman of frat house drinkers, tailgate party planners and beer-pong enthusiasts—has died.
The inventor, who was 84 a the time of his death, began his career working for his father, who started the company in his garage in 1936. Solo’s wax-coated paper cups found popularity in fast-food restaurants and theater concessions, but it wasn’t until 1970 when when Hulseman invented the now-ubiquitous red plastic Solo cup that we all know and love. Almost half a century later, the humble disposable beer receptacle has been celebrated in songs and heralded as “a miracle of modern engineering.” And lest you think Hulseman was a one-trick pony, he also helped invent the Solo traveler lid, the plastic cover for your morning Pumpkin Spice Latte.
So, when you head to the keg at your next cookout, be sure to raise a cup to the man who made it all possible.
Read more about Hulseman and his invention:
Creator of Red Solo Cup Robert Hulseman Dies at 84 (NPR)
The Secret Feature of the Iconic Red Solo Cup (The Kitchn)
Why Aren’t You Playing Quiddich Pong Right Now?