Coffee Cup Lid, WinCup 16LTS

This WinCup 16LTS coffee cup lid is a peel type lid. Peel type lids require the drinker to peel back a piece of the lid to create a wedge-shaped opening, revealing the top edge of the cup.
Architects and collectors Louise Harpman and Scott Specht donated 56 plastic cup lids to the National Museum of American History in 2012. Their donation is a sample from their much larger collection of “independently patented drink-through plastic cup lids,” which they began in 1984 and discussed in a 2005 essay, “Inventory / Peel, Pucker, Pinch, Puncture,” in Cabinet Magazine: The collectors’ categorization scheme reflects the primary way the lid design functions, which helps differentiate between the varieties and styles of lids.
Plastic, disposable coffee cup lids and other single-use food packages reinforce the social acceptability of eating and drinking on the go in the United States and reflect increasing expectation for convenience products. Cup lids are also examples of how humble, and even disposable, objects are sometimes the result of meticulous engineering. Patents for lid innovations describe peel-back tabs and the pucker-type shapes that make room for mouths and noses, and describe the nuances of “heat retention,” “mouth comfort,” “splash reduction,” “friction fit,” and “one-handed activation.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
white (overall color)
overall: 1/4 in x 3 5/8 in; .635 cm x 9.2075 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
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Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Louise Harpman and Scott Specht

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