The history and evolution of today’s “Dixie Cup” is an interesting story. In 1907 a lawyer named Lawrence Luellen who worked for the American Water Supply Company developed a disposable paper cup called the “Health Kup.” The paper cup was used to promote American Water Supply’s water vending machine which was supplied with the sanitary one-use disposable cup. The machine and cups were marketed as hygienic alternative to the popular multi-use shared glass or tin dippers which were commonly in use at the time. In 1910 the Individual Drinking Cup Company was formed in New York by Hugh Moore who was also the founder of the American Water Supply Company. Lawrence Luellen was granted US patent no. 1032557 for his paper “health kup” in 1912. As fate would have it, the flu epidemic of 1918 greatly increased the popularity of these single use cups which helped reduce the chances of spreading the disease. Then in 1919, the “health kup” was renamed Dixie Cup. The Individual Drinking Cup Company moved its manufacturing to Easton, PA in 1921. With this new facility they were able to rapidly expand their product offerings and nationwide distribution. In 1936, The Individual Drinking Cup Company merged with the Vortex Cup Company of Chicago and emerged as the Dixie-Vortex Company. They were renamed in 1943 the Dixie Cup Company. From the day the “health kup” was born until today this ubiquitous disposable single serving container has evolved into the most popular paper cup in the world.
Yellow Garage dealer Maule Trading Company is featuring a 1930’s era The Individual Drinking Cup Company art deco Dixie Cup dispenser. This vintage dispenser features chrome and glass construction and has its original wall mounting bracket. The unique 12 sided glass dome container fits snugly on top of the chrome dispenser. The base is embossed with the manufacturers markings:
- US Patent No 1261950, others pending
- This apparatus is licensed for use only in the distribution of cups made and sold by The Individual Drinking Cup Co Inc Easton PA
The glass container has the original decal detailing the manufacturer’s information along with the reordering information for the particular cup distributor that supplied the dispenser and refill cups. This dispenser is in very good overall condition with age and use appropriate wear as evidenced in the pictures. The dispenser measures 20” high and 3.5” wide. This authentic 1930’s era Dixie Vortex cup dispenser is perfect for collectors interested in a genuine water cooler cup dispenser.
1930’s Art Deco Dixie Vortex 12 Sided Glass Cup Dispenser with Bracket