Coffee Cup Lid, Sweetheart LTG516


This is a Sweetheart LTG516 pucker type coffee cup lid. Pucker type lids require the drinker to place his or her mouth over a protrusion with a hole in it. With these lids, the drinker does not drink directly from the cup—mouths do not make contact with the rim of the cup. Instead, one drinks from only the lid. This lid's design was covered by patent number D417,845 that was assigned to Insulair, Inc. on December 21, 1999.

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.”

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Food Technology, Food, FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Louise Harpman and Scott Specht

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2012.3047.29Catalog Number: 2012.3047.29Nonaccession Number: 2012.3047

Object Name: lid

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)white (overall color)Measurements: overall: 13/16 in x 3 5/8 in; 2.06375 cm x 9.2075 cm


Record Id: nmah_1419907

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