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Lunch Boxes

Lunch boxes are used to store food that is meant to be eaten away from home; like at school or the work place. The food container concept has been in existence for quite a long time now but the food containers became marketable with the introduction of tobacco tins at the beginning of the 20th century. The most common lunch box that has a modern form is one with a handle and clasp and are often printed with colored images.

The earliest forms of lunch boxes were made of woven baskets. With this kind one had to wrap food in some form of food handkerchief and use the basket to haul the food to work. These kind of lunch boxes were used by Americans who worked in various factories as they had little time to go for lunch in their homes. Today lunch boxes are manufactured using different materials including; plastic, vinyl, and metal. In most occasions, plastic or vinyl is used to make children’s lunch boxes while metals like aluminum and tin are used to make adult lunch boxes. The aluminum lunch boxes were first invented by a miner named Leo May in Sudbury, Ontario at around 1954. This invention was a result of an accident that involved Leo crushing his lunch box made of tin.

The first character licensed lunch box was manufactured in 1935 by Frey, Geuder and Paeschke and the box was labeled Mickey Mouse. This lunch box was oval in shape, with an inside tray that could be pulled out and a handle. Alladin industries in 1950 created a lunch box that was the first ever to be based on a television show named Hopalong Cassidy. This lunch box made over 600 000 unit sales within only the first year of production. The lunch boxes were sold each at $2.39 USD. Plastic was first used to make only the handles of lunch boxes but later it was used in the entire production. The very first entirely plastic lunch box was produced in the 1960s while the first vinyl lunch boxes were produced in 1959. The initial lunch boxes saw little changes in the entire 1960s period but later in 1970s, the steel bottles with cork, bakelite and glass liners were changed to an entirely plastic bottle which had foam insulations in place of the vacuum.

Currently, the majority of lunch boxes are made from vinyl that is insulated with foam with a vinyl or aluminum interior. This makes the lunch boxes better at retaining the food temperature. But even with the temperature being retained, these kind of lunch boxes are less protective or rather they tend to break easily. There are people who like collecting lunch boxes as a hobby. The collected lunch boxes can be re-sold to make some money. In 2003 December, a collected lunch box made from mint isolina was sold at $13,225. In August of 2002, reports indicated that the vinyl used to make lunch boxes actually contained very high lead levels. This lead to rising of health concerns and it lead to many of the lunch boxes to be pulled off from the market.

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