You are here:

FREE Newsletter

Inventors Drinking Straws
By Mary Bellis

In 1888, Marvin Stone patented the spiral winding process to manufacture the first paper drinking straws. Stone was already a manufacturer of paper cigarette holders. His idea was to make paper drinking straws. Before his straws, beverage drinkers were using the natural rye grass straws.

Stone made his prototype straw by winding strips of paper around a pencil and gluing it together. He then experimented with paraffin-coated manila paper, so the straws would not become soggy while someone was drinking. Marvin Stone decided the ideal straw was 8 1/2-inches long with a diameter just wide enough to prevent things like lemon seeds from being lodged in the tube.

The product was patented on January the 3rd, 1888. By 1890, his  factory was producing more straws than cigarette holders. In 1906, the first machine was invented by the Stone's "Stone Straw Corporation" to machine-wind straws, ending the hand-winding process. Later other kinds of spiral-wound paper and non-paper products were made.

In 1928, electrical engineers began to use spiral-wound tubes in the first mass produced radios. All made by the same process invented by Stone. Spiral-wound tubing is now found everywhere -- in electric motors, electrical apparatus, electronic devices, electronic components, aerospace, textile, automotive, fuses, batteries, transformers, pyrotechnics, medical packaging, product protection, and packaging applications.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

Important disclaimer information about this About site.

Newsletters & RSSEmail to a friendAdd to
All Topics | Email Article | |
Our Story | Be a Guide | Advertising Info | News & Events | Work at About | Site Map | Reprints | Help
User Agreement | Ethics Policy | Patent Info. | Privacy Policy | Kids' Privacy Policy

©2006 About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.
Mental Health

Depression Self-Test Vitamins for Depression? Bipolar Red Flags Coping With Disasters Celebrities With Bipolar

What's Hot

Gyroscopes - Elmer Sperry and Charles Stark Draper Gyroscope...Angel AlcalaThe History of the BikiniRusi Taleyarkhan Jack Johnson