A drinking straw is a short tube for transferring a beverage from its container to the mouth of the drinker. A thin tube of plastic that is either straight or angle adjustable.
January 3, 1888 Marvin Stone was awarded the patent for the drinking straw. The first drinking straws were not used for fountain drinks and kids most certainly did not use them. The first straws were used for drinking beer. These old straws date back to the Sumerian 3,000 B.C where a gold tbe inlaid with precious blue stones was found in a tomb. The Argentines used similar metallic device called a bombilla which served dual purpose of sieve and straw.
Today's straw was invented while drinking a mint julep. Stone wound paper around a pencil to make a thin tube and glued the strips together. A bit crude I would recon but it worked. Later he would build a machine that would coat the outside of the paper with wax to hold it together.
Drinking Straws have healthy benefits as well. Tooth decay can be reduced when using a drinking straw. Many soft drinks have acidic properties that can harm teeth a straw reduces the liquid contact with the teeth reducing tooth decay and risk of cavities. However they can be harmful to the environment as well as they end up in the landfill. Straws can be reused and recycled.
- A basic drinking straw is straight for the full length.
- A bendable straw or "bendy straw" (known in the industry as an "articulated straw") has a concertina-type hinge near the top for convenience. This variation was invented by Joseph Friedman in 1937.
- Candy straws, such as licorice straws (or lico-straws), are made from some type of chewy candy.
- A recent addition to the straw family is the cereal straw, such as the ones made by Kellogg's.
- Special "color-changer" straws change color when cold (or hot) liquid passes through them. At some restaurants, frozen beverages like slush or frappes are served with color changing straws. Many of these are larger in diameter than typical straws to aid in drinking the thicker beverages.
- A "crazy straw" is hard, transparent or translucent plastic and has a number of twists and turns at the top. When liquid is sucked through the straw, it quickly flows through the winding path, creating a mildly amusing spectacle, popular with children. The crazy straw also has some occupational therapy benefit for autism.
- Extendo-straws come in small plastic wrappings like miniature straws, but can extend to reach the bottom of the carton.
- Flavor straws are a form of drinking straw with a flavoring included, designed to make drinking milk more pleasant for children. They first marketed in the United States in 1956 as Flav-R-Straws. In recent years, newer variations of the original idea have been resurrected in forms such as Sipahhs, and Magic Milk Straws that contain hundreds of flavored pellets encased within a stiff plastic straw.
- A miniature straw is often attached to a drink box.
- Polypropylene is becoming favored over polystyrene for manufacturing plastic drinking straws as polystyrene is brittle and tends to crack easily. Polystyrene is also denser than water, causing straws to sink when placed into beverages. Polypropylene straws, by contrast, are much more durable and do not sink.
- Silicone is a newer material used in drinking straws. Silicone straws are marketed for their freezability, invulnerability to cracking or peeling, and insulation for hot and cold drinks.
- Metal straws, very popular among campers, are made from stainless steel, aluminum, and even titanium.
- "Sanitary" straws are individually wrapped to avoid contamination. Straws were originally marketed as a means for people to reduce the risk of contracting an illness from improperly washed containers, glasses, or cups.
- A spoon straw features a cut-away shape at one end that functions as a miniature spoon. It is intended for slush drinks and milkshakes. Their original purpose was to avoid ice clogging up the submerged end of the straw.
- A wide straw is used for sipping bubble tea. The larger diameter is necessary to accommodate the drink's characteristic tapioca pearls, and can also be used for stirring. The tip of these straws are sometimes cut at an angle creating a point. This allows the straw to puncture the plastic cover of the cup