How Something That is Now Taken For Granted Came to Be
A cup holder in automobiles is not a new concept; in fact we have become so used to them in our cars that imagining a drive without them would leave a lot to desire. But this was not always the case. There was a time when they were considered just another non-essential accessory for mere decorative purposes.During earlier days, having a beverage in a moving vehicle was unheard of. Lack of advanced shock proof suspension systems and pitiable condition of roads precluded any dreams of a cola-sipping long drive on your favorite road.The popularization of drive-in restaurants and theaters paved the way for the earliest cup holders. These were basically makeshift arrangements where servers would hook a tray over the car’s side window. Sometimes the inside of the glove compartment had serrations to precariously support the beverage cups. All these arrangements were good enough for a parked car but ineffective when the car was in motion. Even the grooved glove compartments that protected against sliding were useless against sloshing and spilling. Leaving a drive-in with an unfinished drink meant summoning your immense juggling talents while you changed gears with a cup balanced on your thigh or your other hand.When car makers came out with the first in-built cup holders, they still lacked in the convenience department. Most of them were attached to the inside of car doors and frequently an over enthused slamming of car door showered the unsuspecting passenger with a mess he could have done without. But as technology progressed, the cup holders also became more and more useful. Creators have managed to devise ways to handle cups of all sizes. A special modification worth mentioning here is that of using spring – loaded holders. These manage to securely hold cups of any size.The development path of cup holders has not been constant the world over. European cars were pretty late to catch on to the drink holder mania. The only reason is the stark difference of culture. Drive-ins, the prime catalyst for cup holder development never became that popular in Europe. Of course with today’s shrinking world and globalized markets which cater to international clientele such differences have been reduced in cars.The development of cup holder design has been an ongoing process and there is still scope for improvement. More often than not the supremacy of a design is a subjective matter but we can safely say that creative think tanks of automobile giants would continue to churn surprises for the masses.
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