Who invented the drinking straw?

The modern drinking straw was patented in 1888 by Marvin C. Stone.

However, the straw is believed to go back to the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia, who used natural materials to form cylindrical drinking funnels so they could drink beer - doing to through a straw helped them avoid the sediments left over from the fermentation process.

Straws used for drinking liquids were made from rye-grass, and tended to give drinks a grassy flavour, so weren't very popular, even though they were practical.

The modern drinking straw was actually patented on 3 December 1888 by Marvin Chester Stone who was employed at a paper cigarette holder factory in Washington DC. He used a fine piece of paper from the cigarette holder factory, rolled it around a pencil then coated it in wax to prevent it becoming waterlogged.