In 1937, Joseph Friedman took his daughter to the local soda shop to enjoy a delicious milkshake. Since his daughter was so small and the straight paper straw stuck up so high, she had a hard time drinking her treat. Friedman, an engineer, knew he could solve this problem! He inserted a screw into the straw and wrapped a piece of floss around it to create a ribbon texture in the plastic. When the screw was removed, the straw bent over the glass naturally. He later patented the idea and created his own company to sell the bendable straw. Eventually, the rights were sold to the Maryland Cup Corporation, which sells 500 million bendable straws each year.