Simple in appearance and function, the cup holder is something that most of us could hardly do without. It has become a modern necessity that few recognize, even though they use it daily.
Drinking is a part of everyday life. Our bodies require water to survive, and so we drink often, Not only is drinking necessary for sustenance, but drinking some types of drinks such as your morning coffee can become habit or just popular and trendy.
Perhaps it is because drinking is such an integral part of our lives that James Guillow invented the cup holder. After its invention, however, its potential was sadly not widely recognized for many years.
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 one major event that has led to an increase in cup holders occurred when a seventy-nine year old woman in Albuquerque, New Mexico spilled ordered hot coffee from a McDonalds fast food restaurant. The scalding coffee was spilled on the poor woman’s lap, leaving her seriously scalded. The woman first merely asked McDonalds to pay her doctor bill, pay her cleaning bill, and apologize. When McDonalds refused to do so, they found themselves in a lawsuit where they were forced to pay millions. So sadly for its history, the cup holder seems to actually have been born out of lawsuits more than anything!
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.
A cup holder is important for its function, but the location and placement of it in a vehicle is also of extreme importance. You need a cup holder to be within reach, yet not in he way. If you are driving a stick shift, this can be even more important.
Parents are also grateful for cup holders. There is so much hands on work to be done with small children and a cup holder can help in many various ways. They are now available on most baby strollers and car seats.
We all would miss cup holders if they suddenly no longer existed. We have begun to use these as holders not only useful for cups, but for coins, keys, phones, and lots of other small items we need easy access to.