Artifact and Analysis

Lunchboxes, 1950s–80s


The first lunchboxes, which arrived on the market in 1950, featured images of Hopalong Cassidy, a comic book character who also appeared in films.

Soon thereafter, school lunch kits—as they were initially called—featured graphics and characters from almost every commercial television show that appealed to children. Accompanied by vacuum bottles to hold beverages, the lunch boxes provided attractive containers for children's lunches and portrayed colorful images from television.