The Life of Riley: Cupholders, An All American Necessity


I recently watched a story about Germany’s autobahn, the highway with no speed limits. Most German auto makers consider driving an art. Especially at high speeds, requiring full attention, and both hands. The program indicated that anything that distracted the drivers was either prohibited or discouraged. Since I’m single, I’ll not go any further with that – and, what a revoltin’ development that is!

The inside of the glove compartment lid, when folded down, had indentations to hold cups and cans, and were found in cars as early as 1957. These were sufficient to hold beverages when the car was stopped, but not while in motion.

The 1960s saw coffee cups with wide, flat, rubberized bases being sold, which would keep them steady on the dash or console. A little later, aftermarket cupholders began to be sold. These often clipped onto the door windows, although other designs wedge in between the front seats and the center console.

Built-in cupholders began to be available in the 1980s. Over time, automotive cupholders have become larger and more sophisticated, so that they can hold a variety of different cup sizes securely.

Although many multi tasking commuter drivers see them as a necessity, Others take the contrary view; that they are irrelevant, and encourage a dangerous practice which distracts drivers from their primary task!

Jerry Riley comments for the News Bulletin. He is a retired telecommunications supervisor.