A lunch box is more than a sandwich’s suitcase; it can be a barometer of pop culture.
Roy Rogers graced the first fully lithographed steel lunch box in 1953 and the Partridge Family lunch box was a favorite in the 1970s.
In celebration of the company’s 100th birthday, Thermos is donating several styles from its company archives to be part of an exhibit at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
“Lunch boxes and their bottles are fascinating storytellers, filled with complexities of American childhood,” says David Shayt, cultural history curator at the museum.
“The Smithsonian sees such food containers as memory boxes, where family and school merge with American popular culture.”
The exhibit features Thermos’ classic tartan plaid vacuum bottles along with the themed lunch boxes that saw their popularity rise along with television. Some pop culture icons featured on Thermos products included the Brady Bunch and Barbie.
“Having the right lunch box is truly a status symbol,” says Henry Winkler, who played The Fonz on “Happy Days” and was featured on his very own box.
“Taking America to Lunch” is now open.
On the Net: http://www.americanhistory.si.edu
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