Fact File about the Invention of the Straw: Invention: Straw *** Date of Invention: 1888 *** Name of Inventor: Marvin C. Stone *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1842 - 1899 *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category: Food and Drink *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, Marvin C. Stone, and the invention of the
Fact 1: Who invented the Straw? The Straw was invented by Marvin C. Stone
in 1888 during the Second US Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1850 -
Fact 2: Who invented the Straw? Prior to the invention of the modern
Straw in 1888 people just drank out of mugs, glasses and cups. The advantages of
using a straw are that they allow the drinker to just sip very cold or very hot
drinks. Straws ease the passage of drink through ice to mouth. Drinking from a
straw increases the enjoyment of drinking and the sucking action required tends
to have a calming and de-stressing effect.
Fact 3: Who invented the Straw? The first use of the straw can be traced
to the Sumerians, members of the ancient
Mesopotamian civilization. An ancient clay tablet depicts Cuneiform picture
symbols depicting people drinking Beer through reed
straws from a communal bowl. Bread, grapes and honey were used to make their
beer which produced an unfiltered type of gruel, which explains the
Mesopotamian's need for straws!
Fact 4: Who invented the Straw? A drinking tube, or straw, made of gold
and inlaid with precious blue lapis lazuli stones was found in a Sumerian tomb
at the Royal Cemetery at Ur dating back to 3,000 B.C. Like the Ancient Egyptian
pharaohs the Sumerians were buried with expensive jewelry and a variety of
Fact 5: Who invented the Straw? The Ancient Egyptians also drunk beer
which had to be strained with wooden syphons, used as a straw. Strainers and
syphons were also used in Ancient Egyptian winemaking to separate wine from the
Fact 6: Who invented the Straw? The Yerba mate plant used in South America
to make beer is still
sometimes drunk through straws, in a similar fashion to the Mesopotamians, to
avoid the solid by-products of fermentation (dregs) that sink to the bottom of
Fact 7: Who invented the Straw? During the 1800's rye grass straws were
offered to customers of restaurants, bars and soda fountains. Apparently
customers were concerned about touching their lips to a glass that another
customer had used. These straws were made from the stalks of hand-cut rye grass.
Fact 8: Who invented the Straw? Genteel folk were encouraged to use
straws when sipping Mint Julips, long drinks consisting of bourbon, sugar, fresh
mint and crushed ice. It was said that "The very act of imbibition through a
straw prevents the gluttonous absorption of large and baneful quantities of
Fact 9: Who invented the Straw? The Nineteenth-century straws were so
named because they were literally made from straw, or rye grass. The problem
with the rye grass straws was that when soaked in ice and alcohol they could
turn into mush and ruin the drink. To add insult to injury the taste of the rye
was mixing with the drink and giving it a grassy taste!
Fact 10: Who invented the Straw? Apparently this happened to Marvin C.
Stone and he was so infuriated that he decided to create the first modern
Fact 11: Who invented the Straw? The inventor of the Straw, Marvin C. Stone, was born on 1842 in Portage County, Ohio, United States and died on May 17, 1899.
Fact 12: Who invented the Straw? The early years of Marvin C. Stone were spent in Portage County, Ohio, United States where he was raised by his family.
His father, Chester Stone, was a well-known inventor of many machines, including
washing machine that he patented on February 17, 1827 and an improvement to the
cheese press that he patented on May 29, 1845.
Fact 13: Who invented the Straw? Following his education at Oberlin College
Marvin C. Stone's first job was as a newspaper correspondent. Inheriting his
father's flair for inventions he went on to invent a machine for the manufacture
of cigarette holders filed December 19, 1885, patent number 186,218.
Fact 14: Who invented the Straw? Marvin C. Stone obtained a contract from
W. Duke, Sons and Company, a leading tobacco company, and opened a factory in
Ninth Street, Washington manufacture his cigarette holders.
Fact 15: Who invented the Straw? The invention of the modern Drinking Straw
came next. His bad experiences using rye grass straws he invented a machine to
wind paper straws. He applied for a patent on May 7, 1887 and was granted
a patent for his invention for artificial straws on January 3, 1888, Patent No.
Fact 16: Who invented the Straw? On his patent application he stated that
the aim of his invention was to provide a "cheap, durable, and unobjectionable
substitute for the natural straws commonly used for the administration of
medicines, beverages, &c."
Fact 17: Who invented the Straw? He described his invention as an
"artificial straw consisting of a narrow paper strip helically wound into a
cylindrical tube secured at one end by adhesive material and treated with
Fact 18: Who invented the Straw? The patent application went on to state
that the straws were "coated with paraffine or other waterproof material, and,
preferably, colored in imitation of the natural straw".
Fact 19: Who invented the Straw? Marvin C. Stone began to manufacture his invention of the
Artificial Straw and by 1890, his factory was producing more drinking straws
than cigarette holders.
Fact 20: Who invented the Straw? Marvin C. Stone went on to make other
minor inventions and was recognised for his social and philanthropic causes.
Fact 21: Who invented the Straw? Marvin C. Stone died on May 17, 1899 in
his home in Columbia Road, Washington, D.C.
Fact 22: Who invented the Straw? The history of the straw continued when
the flexible or "bendy" straw, was patented by Joseph B. Friedman in 1937.
Fact 23: Who invented the Straw? Paper straws were taken over by plastic
straws in the 1970's an American icon, the Krazy Straw, was introduced.
Fact 24: Who invented the Straw? In recent years paper straws have been
subject to a revival interest in support of eco-friendliness.
Fact 25: Who invented the Straw? The inventor of the humble artificial
straws, Marvin C. Stone, would be amazed to learn that Americans use over 500
million drinking straws every day.