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The History of Lunchboxes

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites

The History of Lunchboxes

“There was a time not so long ago that the lunchbox was the ultimate in personal expression. More than a mere carrying case for peanut butter and bologna sandwiches, your lunchbox showed who you were and who you aspired to be.”

That was such a great intro I couldn’t help but share it with you. This site starts the history of the lunchbox in the 1880’s where you carried a lunch pail only if you couldn’t afford a good hot lunch. But at this time children also carried lunch pails that they fashioned out of tins that once held cookies, biscuits, or even tobacco!

It was in 1950 when the idea of putting decals of different pop icons on lunch boxes was brought into the market by the lunchbox company Aladdin. Read all about it and learn how they chose Hopalong Cassidy to star on their lunch box.

It was in 1953 when Roy Rogers was turned down by Aladdin, having been told “one cowboy is enough.” His solution, you ask perhaps remembering your Roy Rogers lunch box fondly?

“So Roy saddled up Trigger and rode north to American Thermos in Connecticut, which also had been feeling slumping sales from its lunch box / thermos sets, and especially now with Aladdin’s success. AT decided to do Aladdin one better by using bright, full-color lithography on all sides of the box instead of a decal on one face. They sold 2 1/2 million Roy Rogers & Dale Evans boxes in 1953, increasing their total sales 20% in one year.”

In 1957 the world saw the appearance of the domed lunch box, a throwback to the old workman’s lunch pail. This would give artists of the time free range, less hassles, and it was cost effective to boot.

What happened after that? Well why don’t you read all about and check this site out? Enjoy your trip through history!

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