With the rise of the big coffee chains, millions rush to work everyday juggling briefcase with paper cup, yet few stop to think that its origins lie in a life saving public health campaign that gripped America.
In 1908 the combined ingenuity of a doctor, a Harvard dropout and an entrepreneur came together to devise, market and manufacture this simple device for the first time.
Dr Alvin Davison published his influential study, Death In School Drinking Cups, documenting the high mortality rates amongst children drinking from a communal tin cup.
While traveling the railroads in the same year, University flunky Hugh Moore was struck by the unsanitary working conditions for engineers, all drinking from the same 'tin dipper'.
Thirsty, he made a piece of paper into a cone shape and helped himself safely to some water, and so devised the first rudimentary 'Health Kup'.
He took his idea to entrepreneur Lawrence Luellen, who by 1910 had patented the paper cup and founded NEW YORK's Individual Drinking Cup Company.
That year, Kansas abolished the shared dipper cup and state after state followed, so that by 1916 over 1000 railroads had entered into contracts with Luellen's company and the paper cup industry was born.
Next to jump on the band wagon was the Ice Cream industry, when in 1923 the first serving in a Dixie Cup was sold for 10 Cents.