Our collection of independently-patented drink-through plastic cup lids is the largest in the United States. We are ever-vigilant, and make new additions to our collection in the most obvious of places—in convenience stores, gas stations, diners, and delis. Ours is a collection of the ordinary, not the esoteric. It has no monetary value, but rather operates as some modest form of intellectual capital. We have collected most of the lids ourselves, but have also, over the years, benefited from the bemused indulgences of both friends and acquaintances who send us their contributions. We have multiples of almost every lid, preparing ourselves for queries from fellow collectors, with whom we might fashion a trade to secure the elusive 1935 Stubblefield lid, the earliest patented drink-through lid, or the 1953 Delbert E. Phinney lid/cup combination.Clements' Solo Traveler is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and was featured in their 2004 exhibition Humble Masterpieces, curated by Paola Antonelli (companion book). On Studio 360, Antonelli explains why the plastic coffee cup lid is here to stay [RealAudio (I know, I know, I'm sorry)].
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