Who Invented the Automotive Cup Holder?


Quick Answer

In 1953, Burnard W. Byford patented an automotive cup holder that could be wedged between seat cushions. In 1956, Clyde W. Morgan patented the earliest version of the modern cup holder: a refreshment tray designed to be installed on the instrument panel.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The first vehicle with built-in cup holders was the 1955 Chevy, which contained shallow indentations on the glove compartment door. Throughout the 1980s, several manufacturers produced cars with built-in cup holders, but they were not a standard feature.

The turning point came in 1994, when 79-year-old Stella Liebeck sued McDonalds after spilling a cup of scalding hot coffee on herself. Liebeck ended up with third-degree burns from the spill, which occurred inside a car with no place to secure her beverage. This incident prompted the automobile industry to recognize the value of functional, built-in cup holders as a standard feature on every car.

Learn more about Car Parts & Maintenance

Related Questions