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The History of Bendy Straws

The bendy straw was patented in 1937 by an inventor named Joseph Friedman. The idea came to him while he was watching his young daughter Judith struggle to drink a milkshake from a too-tall straw. He took an existing straight straw and modified it so that it would bend. Once it entered mass production, his design made drinking straws accessible for everyone, including small children like his daughter and hospital patients who couldn’t easily adjust their position. Because of this, Friedman’s bendy straw is frequently cited as an example of “universal design.”

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