Last month, Robert Hulseman, the inventor of the Red Solo Cup, that picnic and party staple, died at the age of 84.
Hulseman’s son Paul told the Associated Press that his father, a man dedicated to his work, his wife and 10 children, and his Catholic faith, had no idea the beverage cup he invented for family picnics had become a tailgate and keg-party icon and didn’t quite know what to make of Toby Keith’s cheeky country-music homage to his creation, “Red Solo Cup.” (Keith tweeted his condolences to Hulseman.)
He “never fully understood how massively popular the large red plastic cup became in pop culture,” Paul Hulseman told the AP.
It turns out that sentiment is mutual. There’s a lot the culture at large probably didn’t understand about the Red Solo Cup (which the Washington Post has hailed as a “marvel of modern engineering”) and the man who invented it. Here are six things to know: