The special teacup was used by the Victorian men to protect their mustache from getting dunked into their tea.
There were times when men paid, even more, attention to their mustache than they do today. Besides the daily trimming and usage of special waxes, mustache lovers in the Victorian era enjoyed special inventions for protection of their facial hair, such as the “Mustache Cup.”
Invented by Harvey Adams, a British potter, the necessity was introduced in the 1860s. Looking like a regular teacup, it had a special add-on, the mustache guard. The solution was quite simple: a ledge was attached to the inside of the cup, with a small opening for the tea to come through. The ledge would stick to the mustache, preventing the hot beverage from touching the facial hair of the tea-drinker.
The mustache cup was an instant success. Sold widely throughout Britain, it became popular all across Europe and then the United States. Mass production of the mustache cap began, and the inventor became so wealthy that he retired 15 years after the sensational invention. Cups with different sizes were made, using various materials too.
The cup remained popular until the end of the Victorian age, and endured a decade and a half more, until World War I began, and the mustache cup vanished into history. Today, we can only find mustache cups in museums and private collections.