A cup holder is a modern device that is simple in idea and design. It is something that many of us use almost every day, if not daily, yet hardly ever consider. What would our lives be without this little development that holds our cups and other drinking vessels?
Our bodies require water to function and sustenance. Thus, drinking has become a part of our every day lives. It is strongly recommended that we drink eight to ten glasses of water per day. If you are striving to maintain your health and weight, this is a good practice, and will usually require carrying water with you at all times. Not only is drinking a necessity for life, but it has also become habit, such as morning coffee. Drinking certain beverages such as lattes or cappuccinos can also be the fashionable thing to do. So we drink to live, we drink out of habit, and we drink because it is the popular thing to do.
Perhaps James Guillow realized this when he invented the cup holder in’43. Sadly, the potential of his invention was not realized until many years later.
When drive-in and drive-through restaurants became popular in the’60’s, cup holders began to be sold. They were then in developmental form and were often just little wedges that clipped onto the car door window or would fit in the center console.
Later on built in cup holders became more common, especially when minivans came onto the scene. With time, automakers had to become more inventive with cup holders as commercial industries began selling soft drinks in varied cup and bottle sizes. This was a challenge that the auto industry has lived up to.
The major event that led up to the popularity of cup holders was a lawsuit filed against McDonalds when a seventy-year old woman had a cup of scalding hot coffee spilled on her lap. Although she merely asked for an apology and money to pay her doctor and cleaning fee, the company harshly refused, a decision that ended up costing them millions. After this incident, companies realized the hazard posed by hot drinks and the use of cup holders grew by leaps and bounds.
The use of cup holders in cars actually have more to do with safety than anything. With over six million auto accidents occurring each year in the United States, we should be doing everything possible to decrease this statistic. Doing anything while driving can be a distraction that could end up in a bad accident. Using a cup holder instead of trying to hold your cup and drive could keep you from having an accident.
Some important attributes of a cup holder include not only its size, design, and functionality, but also its location and placement. Cup holders need to be placed within reach, yet not in the way. This is especially true if you are driving a manual stick shift automobile.
Any parent with small children knows how invaluable a cup holder can be. Parents only have so many hands! Manufacturers have listened and realized this; as a result, nearly all baby strollers and car seats are equipped with this convenience.
Now cup holders are such a modern convenience that they would be greatly missed were they to suddenly start disappearing. For not only have we begun to use them for their primary purpose, but they have suddenly become coin holders, phone holders, and a good place to set any small items you need easy access to without the worry of them flying across the floor! So yes, cup holders have become a necessity for most Americans’ daily lives.