McDonald's Paper Cup with Plastic Lid

This small McDonald’s® paper cup with plastic lid is decorated with the McDonald’s® golden arches logo on one side and Ronald McDonald’s head on the reverse side. The Ronald McDonald character made its national debut in 1966 during a nationwide television commercial. In 1971, Ronald McDonald was joined by a cast of friends who all lived in McDonaldland in a new advertising campaign targeted at children.
The McDonald’s Corporation is one of the most recognizable hamburger restaurants in the United States. As of 2011, the McDonald’s Corporation and franchisees were operating in 119 countries with 1.9 million employees, making it the 4th largest employer in the world.
In 1940, Richard (Dick) and Maurice (Mac) McDonald opened the first McDonald’s Bar-B-Q drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California. In 1948, the brothers redesigned their menu, centering on the 15 cent hamburger. In 1954, Ray Kroc, a Multimixer (milkshake machine) salesman, became interested in the McDonalds brothers’ high volume restaurant. He worked out a deal with the brothers to be their franchising agent and opened the first franchise location in Illinois the following year. Under Kroc’s direction, the company grew to become the giant we know today.
Currently not on view
Physical Description
paper (cup material)
plastic (lid material)
overall: 4 1/2 in x 3 1/4 in; 11.43 cm x 8.255 cm
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
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Work and Industry: Retail and Marketing
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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