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Blue Greek Coffee Cup Part of New York’s 50-Object History

A staple in New York crime shows, the blue Greek Anthora coffee cup has been profiled by the New York Times in a history of New York in 50 objects.

Inspired by the BBC radio series “A History of the World in 100 Objects, the Times feature aims to capture “the narrative of New York.” Here Tony Cenicola explains the history of the iconic cup:

Before Starbucks and other national chains, takeout coffee was invariably delivered in a blue and white paper cup featuring a Greek vase — as many as 500 million were sold annually as recently as two decades ago. The Anthora, as the cup was called, was created in the early 1960s especially for the New York market and its ubiquitous Greek diners and delicatessens by Leslie Buck, a Holocaust survivor who was sales manager of the Sherri Cup Company in Connecticut. Demand for the distinctive design — as characteristic of New York as yellow cabs — declined as newer immigrants, including Koreans and Bangladeshis, succeeded Greek restaurateurs who moved to the suburbs.

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