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RIP Robert Hulseman, Inventor of the Red Solo Cup

A true American icon


The man behind the ubiquitous party vessel, the red Solo cup, Robert Hulseman, has died. He was 84.

Hulseman served as president and chief executive of Solo Cup Co. He worked with the foodservice packaging company, which was originally started by his father Leo, for almost 60 years. Hulseman is also credited for being the man behind the Traveler coffee cup lid.

The cup hit the scene in the 1970s and has been a fixture at parties, barbecues, and just about any outdoor gathering ever since. It’s become such a predominant part of any American party that companies in the United Kingdom such as sell them using taglines like, “As we now all know the Red Cup means it’s party time – American style!”

Country singer Toby Keith loves the cup so much he actually made a song about it, aptly named “Red Solo Cup.” It begins with the lines, “Now a red Solo cup is the best receptacle/For barbecues tailgates fairs and festivals/And you sir do not have a pair of testicles/If you prefer drinking from glass.”

The Solo cup is also a staple in films that showcase high school and fraternity parties. Here, the cup makes an appearance in the 1999 teen comedy American Pie.

And it serves as Pheobe’s cup (and decoration) of choice when she is tasked with organizing Rachel’s surprise birthday party in a Season 5 episode of Friends.

And, of course, President-elect Donald Trump unveiled his own line of branded Solo cups during his 2015 election pit stops, asking supporters to cough up $20 for a pack of three.

Red Solo Cup developer Robert Hulseman dies at age 84 [Associated Press]
Ultimate Bro Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Wants to Sell You Branded Plastic Red Cups [E]

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