Every once in a while I run across the blog post so complete and entertaining that it leaves me with almost nothing to add. That's the case today with Nicola Twilley's post on TheAtlantic.com, "The Rise of the Plastic, Disposable Coffee Cup Lid." Twilley covers the history and industrial design highlights of the lowly coffee cup lid, with special attention to the Solo Traveler, a favorite of some industrial design experts. But she doesn't stop there.
Despite the Solo Traveler's celebrity status, to my mind, these lids are most interesting when considered as a group, unified by function and yet differentiated in form. Patton, Harpman, and others have traced their design evolution over time, from the 'primitive days' of simple vented plastic circles, through the invention of the sip tab, to the multi-functional straw/sip-through domes of today.She cites an I.D. Magazine feature story by design historian and author Phil Patton, who had a collection of more than 30 lids that was once on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum. A lid also was featured in a 2004 exhibit titled "Humble Masterpieces" at the Museum of Modern Art. Check TheAtlantic.com for all of Twilley's research, and enjoy her links.