The exact origins of the paper cup seem to be unknown, therefore the inventor of the handy disposable beverage holder may never be known, although there is evidence that they were used as far back as Imperial China. What is known is that around the beginning of the 1900’s, paper cups gained popularity when people began to realise that sharing the same tin or ladle, to drink from water barrels, also meant sharing germs.
Dixie printed paper cups are referenced as the "handy helpers like paper cups".
In 1907, a Boston lawyer named Lawrence Luellen, developed the “Health Kup” (which later became known as the Dixie Cup in 1919). Lawrence did this to help improve public health and hygiene due to the concerns of shared-use cups.
During the great American flu epidemic of 1918 paper cups rapidly grew in popularity as a way of avoiding infection.
In the century since, the paper cup has evolved from simply a health solution to an everyday convenience object. Each day, millions of paper cups are used so that people can take their drinks with them whilst they go, something that is necessary in today’s busy world.