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You might not realize how important that coffee lid is to history

Staff Writer
Austin 360
The range of design for coffee lids seems limitless. These nine a just a fraction analyzed in a new book co-written by an Austin architect. Contributed

“Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture” is a flash of light. This short, sharp and subtly witty new book by Austin architect Scott Specht — along with fellow collector and design analyst Louise Harpman — illuminates an ordinary object many of us encounter every day.

How many of us, however, have thought deeply about the shape, size, evolution and efficacy of this plastic or — for sustainability reasons — composite insurance against hot spills?

The Specht and Harpman collection of humble coffee lids was considered so crucial to understanding one part of American culture and technology, it was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution.

Read more about why the lids are important to our culture and history in a story on our premium website,