The paper cup was invented by Boston inventor Lawrence Luellen. He built his first prototype from two sections, and the cup was marketed to provide an individual serving of water without having to share dipping utensils, thereby preventing disease transmission.
The cups were first referred to as health cups before Luellen's business partner, Hugh Moore, asked the Dixie Doll Company for permission to appropriate part of its name for his cup. The cups soon became known as "Dixies" and gained popularity in many venues for both convenience and sanitary reasons. Dixie Cup is a name brand, but the name is often used to refer to any paper cup.