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Sketch For Flexible Straw (USA)

This is a Sketch for flexible straw. It was made by Joseph B. Friedman. It is dated 1930s. Its medium is pencil on paper.

Joseph Friedman’s best-known invention is the flexible straw and the company he formed to manufacture it became the focus of his inventive life. He frequently sketched on loose scraps of paper—he was especially fond of envelopes—working out ideas and solving problems. His pencil sketch of the flexible straw captures his method at its very best. Dating from the 1930s, it is the first example of Friedman experimenting with this idea. The pencil lines were drawn quickly but with purpose, but the sketch is whimsical, too, at first glance recalling a flower wilting in a vase. Friedman’s flexible straw, called a "Drinking Tube," was granted US Patent 2,094,268 on September 28, 1937.

It is credited Joseph B. Friedman Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, 2001.3031.

  • Textile, Spiral
  • cotton.
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.
  • 2007-5-3

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Its dimensions are

H x W (sketch): 16.5 x 13.8 cm (6 1/2 x 5 7/16 in.) H x W (mounted): 26.7 x 24.3 cm (10 1/2 x 9 9/16 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Sketch For Flexible Straw (USA) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>