Straws and Lipstick

I came across this connection while watching TV. It flew by quickly, and I may have a few details wrong, but the essential connection was clearly remembered. It stuck with me.

Let’s go back in time.

There was a time when women were either not allowed or culturally prevented from entering bars. If women did enter, it was often at the cost of their reputation for being virtuous. Also, a safe water supply was only sometimes available at this time. The more money you had, the more likely you were to have access to safe water.

Drinking beer was a reasonable-cost alternative, along with other rationalizations for overconsumption.

While this was going on, entrepreneurs were fiercely trying to find alcohol-free alternatives. Jumping ahead, sodas, also known as soft drinks, were coming into the marketplace. Soda fountains became a primary method of distribution. Staff would pull the handle repeatedly to pump the soda into a glass. They were called soda jerks.

Here comes the sticky part, literally.

Women were encouraged to drop by the soda fountain, with or without an escort! They arrived in droves, but their lipstick left a stain on the glass that was hard to remove. Straws were developed as a solution to this problem.

And look at us now. Straws are disappearing.

Please give this a bit of a think. Are there everyday things whose initial reason to exist has been lost to the past? How has their presence drifted from their initial purpose to their function today?

What needs to be invented today to solve a current issue? It may not solve a world peace level of concern, but it may remove a frequent irritant we wouldn’t miss.

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.

Photo by AI (Request: create a 60s like scene of a busy soda fountain.)

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