For an item so ubiquitous, tossed without a care, and that costs only pennies to make, a ton of engineering and thought has poured into the design of the plastic coffee cup lid. Take a moment to look down the next time you grab a cup of Joe and see which sort you have before you, as there are all manner of species for all manner of purposes.
For instance, reading the description of “LID WITH DRINK OPENING”, patent number 7063224, issued in 2006, reveals an almost rhapsodic revelry in the craftmanship of this seemingly banal device: “Preferably, the lid has a generally planar rim and said base of said projecting portion, and in particular said living hinge, is further from said plane than said catch means, and wherein said catch means is afforded by a shoulder defined by a first wall portion meeting a top wall portion, said first wall portion having a lower edge nearer to said plane of said 15 rim than is said top wall portion and said shoulder being nearer said projecting portion than said lower edge, said shoulder being so located and the lid structure being so resiliently flexible that, in the course of pivoting the projecting portion, about said living hinge, away from its initial 20 position, the tip of said projecting portion can engage said top wall portion adjacent said shoulder and such that further pivoting forcefully in the same direction allows the tip of said projecting portion to be forced past said shoulder to be retained by engagement with said first wall portion…”
Ahh, like cupful of poetry.
Indeed, for a good time, look up “cup lid” in Google patents and spend a little bit perusing the gallery of innovation. Perhaps while sipping your favorite hot beverage, through a lid, which you may never look at the same way again.
What’s your favorite coffee cup lid? Sound off in the comments.
[via Edible Geography]