Each no-sweat Tervis tumbler -- the handy cup thatkeeps your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold -- is made right here in Tampa Bay.

Each Wednesday this month, we're going to tell you about something amazing your neighbors have created.

They're famous around the world, but they got their start right here in Tampa Bay.You may be surprised, and you'll definitely be impressed.

Why do they call it Tervis?

The tumbler with two walls! The miracle beverage set! The most exciting improvement in tumblers since the start of the 20th century!


All of those breathless, excited claims are on the box that holds a gift set of four plastic Tervis tumblers.

It's hard to figure out exactly when that set was made and sold, but it's almost certainly more that 50 years old.

However, rest assured, if you manage to break one of the almost indestructible glasses inside -- just send it to an All-American factory in the Sarasota County community of Venice.

They will repair or replace it for free.

Yeah, when they say "lifetime guarantee," they mean it.

"We really stand behind the product, and we spend a lot of time making sure that every tumbler that goes out the door upholds to our standards," Tervis spokeswoman Kim Livengood said.

Livengood is one of more than 700 of your neighbors who work at Tervis, turning out thousands of tumblers a day.

"The company [was] started in 1946 in Detroit by two engineers," Livengood said. "They were the original people to invent an insulated tumbler."

"It was called Tervis because the two engineers in Detroit," were named Frank Cotter and G. Howlett Davis, "and so they took the last three letters of each of their names, and combined it, and totally made up the name Tervis."

"The Donelly family bought it in the early 60's and moved it to Florida. And it's been her ever since."

The no-sweat glasses that keep your hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold start off as two pieces, called an "inner" and an "outer."

Workers hold the parts over a jet of air to blow out any dust.

Then, between the two halves, they'll add in one of a handful of designs.

Did I say handful? I meant more than 5,000 designs!

So many, they have a room and staff to track them all. So many, they have a giant vault machine to stash even more. It's those designs that have taken Tervis to the big time.

"The company has been around for 66 years and in the past, probably five years, we've definitely experienced rapid growth," Livengood said.

"The licensing agreements that we have partnered with have really allowed us to find new audiences. Our company has tripled our employment in the past few years."

And people love these things!

"We have, truly, a following of fans. We call people Tervo-Maniacs. And what that means is, if you have twelve or more tumblers, you are an official Tervo-Maniac," Livengood said.

The nice folks at Tervis agreed to teach me -- a certified Tervo-Maniac -- how it's done.

After accidentally sending some packaging flying with the dust-busting blast of air, I composed myself and slipped a design between an "inner" and an "outer" to complete my tumbler.

They even let me "weld" my own tumbler together, just like the one invented by those two thirsty engineers more than 60 years ago.

The two halves of the cup are sealed together -- not using glue or heat, but with ultrasonic sound waves.

And the air that gets locked inside? That's Tampa Bay air that's shipped around the world.

Why do they call it that? Now you know.

The "Why do they call it that?" series on famous things that got their start in Tampa Bay continues next Wednesday.

We got access for that no TV news camera has ever gotten before to show you where they squeeze the country's number one O.J., right here in Tampa Bay.

That's next Wednesday on The Morning Show.

Check out previous editions of the Emmy-nominated series at our "Why do they call it that?" website: wtsp.com/callitthat.

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