Pour One Out: The Inventor Of The Red Solo Cup Has Died

RealClear Staff

            

     Two-thousand-sixteen has met many with an untimely demise—George Michael, Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Debbie Reynolds (maybe not so untimely) to name a handful. However, it’s only respectful to give credit to the man who impacted probably everyone’s life at one point or another—Robert Leo Hulsman. (Who hasn’t drank out of those plastic, red cups?)

[Source: BreakingNewsLive]

Yes, it’s time to pay homage to the 84-year-old man who soared Solo to great heights—the world lost him last week. While he wasn’t the original Hulseman to provide drink holders for hangouts—his father founded the Solo Cup Company in 1936—he was certainly the heir who enabled so many to roll Solo (red and blue). He came aboard the cup crew at age 18 and work his way from the factory to the top—no special treatment. As Solo’s new CEO in 1980, he surpassed his father and furthered the family business to be one of the world’s largest food-service packaging companies.

It all started in Illinois, where this company crafted the kind of cone-shaped cups found at any office, water cooler. It wasn’t until the 1950s that Solo saw reason in a wax-lined option, as fountain sodas proved popular. In the 1970s, it was Hulseman himself who envisioned and actualized the plastic universally used party pints.

They’re truly versatile—as well as stackable, disposable and virtually indestructible—as their frame was designed with details to determine a proper pour for shots, wine, malt liquor, beer and more!

[Source: Snopes.com]

While blue didn’t come about until later, consumers seem to stick with the celebrated shade of red.

“I've tested this over and over. Consumers prefer red, and it’s not very close,” a company executive stated in an interview. “I think for one thing, it’s a [gender-] neutral color that’s appealing to both men and women.”

Not only did Hulseman scheme the Solo receptacle, he also created the Solo Traveler coffee-cup lids—if only he’d have lasted a few more decades...more, amazing innovations.

Country-star Toby Keith actually authored an ode to Hulseman’s red wonder:

[Video: courtesy of TobyKeithVevo]

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