Coffee Cup Lid, The Philip Cup

Description
This is a Philip Cup 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. The lid's design was invented by Morris Philip of Bronx, New York and is covered by patent number 4,394,928 granted July 26, 2983.
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: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/19/harpman.php. 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.”
Object Name
lid
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
white (overall color)
Measurements
overall: 3/8 in x 3 3/8 in; .9525 cm x 8.5725 cm
ID Number
2012.3047.56
catalog number
2012.3047.56
accession number
2012.3047
subject
Food
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition
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

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.