Archive for Thursday, April 9, 2009

My favorite lunch box

April 9, 2009

When I was working in Kansas City, at age 15, there was no close place to buy lunch, so I had to rely on a large black dome style metal box that clicked when I shut it.

It had a sturdy metal handle on the top. It was white on the inside and there was room in the top for a small Thermos bottle. After a while the Thermos bottle broke, and I discovered there was room for several more sandwiches in the Thermos space. Therefore I never replaced the Thermos as I loved having six sandwiches rather than two or three.

I think I carried that box for at least 30 years.

When I did find time my favorite thing was to climb up on the large powdered milk barrels that were stacked to the ceiling and sit there to eat. Remember, I was just a kid and this was the Milk Plant that would hire young people because of the war. Older folks could get a better job at a defense plant and earn more money.

All the workers carried a lunch box then, and since I did not have a lunch hour to take time out to eat, it was a continuous thing for me to eat out of it all day long. My lunch box was very special to me even though it was plain. It would be refilled daily with special food that kept me going.

At that time there was no choice in lunch boxes. From the ‘50s on, the manufacturers found that decorated and fancy boxes were more popular. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans created their own lunch box in 1953. Everyone loved them and the first year, two and a half million of these were sold. Little kids carried Peanuts, Disney or The Jetsons. Older children would have designs of their favorite TV show, movie star, cartoon characters or rock bands.

Aladdin, Liberty and Universal were three lunch box manufacturer in the 1960s. You can still buy the same style for $30. They also have ‘build a lunch box’ kits for $13.95 and you can decorate them with decals or stickers. There is no end to the designs.

Every time I see a black dome style lunch box, it brings back lots of memories.

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