Being a heavily moustachioed man myself, I have a keen interest in the topic of the creation of the moustache cup because I use one every day.  Harvey Adams is credited with the creation of this invention and that appears to be indisputable as no alternative seems to exist.  He did not register the invention although he did register several other examples of his creations [8].   Perhaps he created the moustache cup for his own use although no photo of Harvey Adams has surfaced [6]. Many pottery firms in the famed English pottery region soon began producing their own examples and a registration challenge to the design has never surfaced.  Perhaps Harvey Adams considered this cup as a gift to the moustachioed world.
The Author - Roger Heffron,2018,
         The moustache cup does keep my moustache mostly dry.  It kept Victorian moustaches dry and it will do the same today.  I wonder why I run into so few hirsute men who even know of the existence of this wonderful invention. I have the opportunity to speak with many American Civil War reenactors who strive for accuracy as living historians.  Many of these men sport spectacular facial hair in their impressions.  However, I have yet to see a single moustache cup at a sutler or reenactment campsite even though they would have been readily available by war’s end.

​        As a historian and researcher, I find the available, reliable information to be problematic.  Incorrect information about this invention is rampant both in print and on the internet.  Commonly repeated comments about the cup are actually myths.  
Reproduction Civil War Era Moustache Cup, 2018, Image by Author
MYTH:  Melting Moustache Wax - Stated in Glenn Erardi & Pauline Peck’s book is the idea that a man’s moustache wax would melt down his chin and into his cup [7].  This concept has been regurgitated by countless websites and antique dealers trying to explain the evolution of the moustache cup.  I suspect that this was originally written by a moustacheless individual.  I use moustache wax every day myself and have never experienced this issue when I drink from something without a moustache guard.  After performing an experiment with a moustache wax recipe from the Victorian era, I found my suspicion was accurate.  I could not get the wax to melt, even after scorching my lip with the steam after several minutes.

MYTH:  British Soldiers were required to wear a moustache – British soldiers were permitted to wear a moustache but were not required to do so [4] [9].  The original order from General Cathcart gave permission for the moustache during the Crimean War in part to intimidate the enemy with masculinity that only facial hair can impart [10].  Further orders often quoted by Command no. 1695 clearly stated that “whiskers, if worn, will be of moderate length.” [9].

MYTH:  Womanly Moustache Cups – I have overheard numerous conversations at antique shops regarding the feminine decoration and dainty handle size of most moustache cups.  “Women used them – they had more facial hair back in the day.”  Dainty handles?  British etiquette dictates a different grip on a teacup without inserting one’s finger through the handle compared to a more aggressive American grip. Any google search of Queen Elizabeth drinking tea easily proves this point.  As for the feminine design,  dining sets, including moustache cups fall under the “Women’s Domain”  or a Victorian Woman’s role of taking care of life inside the home.  Moustache cups as well as shaving mugs and scuttles were often decorated in a feminine fashion because a woman purchased them [11].  I did not NEED a moustache cup until my whiskers got quite long.  If the Victorian world contained thousands or millions of women sporting heavy moustaches, the photographic record does not support this myth.

MYTH:  Invented in 1830 - Although the internet consensus generally attributes the creation of the moustache cup to Harvey Adams.  The date of invention varies in printed and internet sources from 1830 to the 1880s.  How can that be?  This can be partially explained because no patent was registered.  But how can Adams have invented it before his birth in Horton, Staffordshire in 1834 [12]?  Most information found on the internet is simply a regurgitation of words found on Wikipedia.  

MYTH:  There is a correct spelling of the word “Moustache”

I chose to write this article using the British spelling because it is a British invention.