Paileontology: A history of the lunchbox



Decline and Fall

Lunchboxes had had a good run, selling about 120 million between 1950 and 1970, but the box boom couldn't last. ADCO stopped making in 1956; Universal in 1963; Ohio Arts in 1985 What happened?

Blame it on kids, who came up with other status symbols to beg their parents for. Blame it on manufactures who in 1972 began switching to plastic molded inferior in every aesthetic way to metal to cut manufacturing costs. And blame it on crusading mothers and pandering legislators who began passing legislation to ban metal as dangerous assault weapons. The last metal lunch box of the Steel Age, fittingly depicted that hailed conking hero, Rambo. That was in 1987.

Even with plastics, Aladdin announced that it was giving up the lunch box business completely in 1998, leaving only Thermos standing tall. And yet....