Pour One Out: Our Tribute to the Red Solo Cup Inventor

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Take a look at those familiar lines…

It seems fitting that the final obituary–of dozens that we sadly wrote in 2016–was for Robert Hulseman. Who, you ask? Well, as you’ve surmised from our headline, Mr. Hulseman is the inventor of the red Solo cup, that staple of many a party you’ve attended and hosted, and he passed away on Dec. 21, 2016, at his home in Northfield, IL at age 84.

Hulseman began working at the Solo Cup Company at age 18, thanks to an inside track: his father started the company! And over a nearly 60-year career there, according to his obituary at Legacy.com, “he worked in a variety of roles and oversaw the company’s growth into one of the largest foodservice packaging companies in the world, ultimately serving as President and CEO before his retirement. He was known as an innovator, a hands-on manufacturing expert, and an industry pioneer; many of the products he developed are ubiquitous today, including the Red Solo Cup and the Traveller Lid.”

His son, Paul, told the Associated Press, “Truth be told, Dad liked [the blue cup] the best.”

You’ve no doubt noticed the seemingly haphazardly arranged lines on a 18-ounce red Solo cup. While company owner Dart Container Corporation denies their purpose, the lines are used as a guideline for pouring various alcoholic beverages. Working your way up the bottom: the first one marks one ounce for the hard stuff; the next at five ounces for wine; then 12 ounces for a beer and finally 16 ounces for a full pint.

The iconic cup was first released in the ’70s. It’s now available with the SOLO Squared design, with four grip areas to “minimize slippage and spills.”

Pour one out, in honor of Robert Hulseman, courtesy of the Toby Keith hit with guest appearances by Sammy Hagar and others!

Keith had a big cross-over hit with the song, which actually reached #15 on the pop chart in 2011. He acknowledged Hulseman’s passing with a tweet.

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