A healthy curiosity and a truck with no cup holders has led a Louisville man to build what may be the proverbial “better mousetrap.”
Phil Abbott has invented a lid-less cup that he says doesn’t leak or spill, and has no plastic top to pop off just when it’s the most inconvenient.
Abbott, 57, came up with a paper cup design he calls “East Tennessee origami.”
Abbott said he’s always been interested in patents. “I have several in various fields — from baby products to an air-bearing dental drill to industrial ceramics to painting tools to a cable TV piracy theft-proof device,” he said.
Abbott said his curiosity has alway
He started by folding. “I started folding Dixie cups by the bags. It took a few months to figure it out. It actually developed as I went from one design to the next,” he said.
If Abbott was on a job, he would sit on the tailgate of his truck at lunch and fold cups.
“The eureka moment was when I looked down and realized I had done something. I didn’t know what origami was but someone said, ‘You just did origami.’ I said, ‘What’s that?’ I had to go look up the definition.
Abbott said he’s spent several years bouncing back from his idea being rejected but he’s learned not to be discouraged and had this advice for fellow inventors. “Don’t be discouraged, always follow every lead and don’t stop,” he said.
Photo by Blount Today.