Coffee Cup Lid, Dart 8UL

This is a Dart 8UL Sip Thru strainer type coffee cup lid. Strainer type lids try to have maximum splash protection with minimal lid manipulation from the drinker. There is nothing to peel or pull back. The opening is kept small so liquid will only pass through when a cup is tipped toward a mouth and not when merely jostled while in one’s hands. This lid's design is covered by patent number 4,412,629 that was assigned to Dart Container Corporation on November 1, 1983. The patent covers a lid that is opened with the pressure from the drinker's upper lip, sealing itself again when the pressure is removed.
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.”
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
beige (overall color)
overall: 9/16 in x 3 5/16 in; 1.42875 cm x 8.41375 cm
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Credit Line
Gift of Louise Harpman and Scott Specht
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object