Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Though we may wince at the sheer number of disposable cups we go through in a frenzied workweek, it's hard to imagine life without that simple convenience. But, get this: The concept did not originate from our desperate need for on-the-go cups of Joe. Bon Appétit investigated the long and storied history of the staple, beginning with its creation in 1907 by a Boston lawyer. The throwaway's first intended use? To stop diseases being passed through communal water cups. That model, called the Health Kup, later became known as a the Dixie — yep, the iconic waiting room receptacle we know quite well.
From foam materials to tearable lids, the vessel has certainly seen a lot of variations in the last century. Click over to Bon Appétit for the detailed history. And, next time you sip from a Starbucks latte, remember there are a lot of people to thank for it.