Before the Age of Steel
Before the lunch box was the lunch pail (and before the lunch pail there were oiled goatskins, but let's not go THAT far back). The lunch pail wasn't really a pail; it was a latching, heavy-duty metal thing made from a toolbox-grade metal that would protect the working man's noontime meal from anything less powerful than a small bomb.
the time, a lunch pail wasn't chic on the
contrary, it was a sign you were far enough down the pay scale that
you didn't have time or money for a decent hot noontime meal. Still,
children in the 1880s created their own school "lunch pails" out of
the colorful tin boxes that once housed biscuits, cookies and tobacco.