Smithsonian Snapshot

August 30, 2011

Historical Lunch Boxes by Thermos LLC

Historical Lunch Boxes by Thermos LLC through 1985
Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Historical Lunch Boxes by Thermos LLC through 1985

Beginning in the 1950s, TV transformed the lunch box from an ordinary food conveyor into a storyteller. The screen-like sides of the lunch box offered children a new form of self-expression.

Box makers paid for the right to use TV shows to promote box sales. The studios used boxes to gain market exposure. And children acquired a new statement of their power and influence in the emerging world of mass-marketed consumer goods.