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PATRIOT ALERT #2. James Guillow – Cup Holder inventor

The real shame with the history books is that all too often they overlook our nation’s greatest patriots. Take for example, James Guillow, the inventor of the cup holder. Now, I am not all together certain that Guillow is even an American – Wikipedia did not have too much info on him – but anyone who invents something as critical to modern life as the cup holder is an American in my book.

Apparently this Guillow fellow invented the cup holder in 1943. But due to some oversight (probably the fault of the douche bags in the corner office) the cup holder wasn’t widely introduced until the 1980s.

But the cup holder’s real proliferation started because of another great American institution – the personal injury lawsuit.

According to Wikipedia:

The installation of cup holders in automobiles increased significantly after Stella Liebeck v. McDonald’s Corporation, where a 79-year-old woman in Albuquerque, New Mexico ordered hot coffee from a McDonald’s restaurant. She then spilled the coffee on her lap and was seriously scalded. She subsequently sued McDonald’s in a jury trial. Liebeck was awarded US$2.7 million in damages by the Jury, which was later reduced by the judge to US$640,000.

A cornerstone of modern life, the cup holder, was born out of American ingenuity and frivolous lawsuits.

God Bless America. 

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  1. […] mentioned without lowering the bar of greatness quite so dramatically.  I’d like to nominate James Guilliow, the inventor of the cup-holder, Helen Barnett Diserens, who developed under-arm deodorant and the […]

  2. Bonnie Russell says:

    The woman suffered third degree burns that required skin grafts.
    Does that really sound frivolous to you?

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