Red Solo Cup: A Highland Park Innovation

In 1960, the Highland Park City Council approved rezoning land east of Ridge and south of Deerfield roads to permit construction of a paper cup plant.  Founded in 1936 as Paper Container Manufacturing Company in Chicago, family-owned Solo Cup Company chiefly manufactured "cone cups" found in dispensers by water coolers, at soda fountains, and drive-in theater and restaurants.

This Highland Park campus witnessed the birth of  the Cozy Cup and caddy and the fabled "Red Solo Cup" recently described by the Washington Post  as "A Marvel of modern engineering" upon the death of the former Solo Cup chief executive, Robert Hulseman, whose father Leo founded the company.

A quick search of the United States Patent Office database reveals dozen of patents granted the the company during its decades in Highland Park.  From the "Traveler Lid" to cover the transported beverage to each stackable ridge and curve, to the plastic resins engineered for a range of beverage temperatures, Solo Cup engineers on Ridge and Old Deerfield Roads refined and perfected the now ubiquitous traveling beverage vessel..

In 2009, Solo Cup moved its headquarters to Lake Forest, Illinois.  Dart Container acquired the company in 2012.