Did you ever think about how they came up with this little device? Joseph Friedman was sitting at his brother's soda shop, watching his daughter drink a milkshake. She was struggling to drink her beverage through a straight paper straw, but she was short and could hardly reach the end.
He thought about how he could help and inserted a screw into the straw. He then wrapped and tightened floss around the straw to create a ribbed texture. When he took the screw out, the straw naturally bent over the rim of the glass and his daughter was able to drink with ease. He patented his idea in 1937 and started his own company to produce the straw. The rights to the flexible straw were eventually sold to the Maryland Cup Corporation, which now sells about 500 million of them every year.