WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:
SUNDAY, JANUARY 3: DRINKING STRAW
Profile America -- Sunday, January 3rd. An invention was patented on this day in 1888, which is still making life easier -- in more ways than its creator could have realized. Marvin Chester Stone, of Washington, D.C., invented the drinking straw -- hand-rolled and covered in paraffin. His timing was good, as both Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola had just come along. Before Stone's invention, people used stalks of rye grain as straws. By 1906, machines took over the hand-winding process.
Today, that technology produces spiral-wound coverings for many industries, including electronics, automobiles and medical packaging. And drinking straws are still big business. Americans drink an average of 51 gallons of soft drinks each year and 22 gallons of various fruit drinks. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, now preparing for the 2010 Census on April 1st.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2010, p. 71
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2009, t. 207
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look under the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau