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Vintage Lunchboxes Not Old School
NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archives 2007
 
 
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Vintage Lunchboxes Not Old School

It’s that time of the year again when parents are looking forward to their kids returning to school and kids dreading the idea of having to return after having fun all summer.  Although a lot of children brave the lunches by buying them in the cafeteria, a lot of others bring the good old standby, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, from home.  How they carry those lunches to school is one of those things that epitomizes “the more things change, the more things stay the same” saying.

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In the early 1900’s lunch boxes were metal pails or re-used (read recycled) tin cans that formerly held biscuits, tobacco or sweets. As time progressed, the tin containers evolved into what most of us remember as being the box with our favorite cartoon, TV and movie characters and a matching thermos to hold our milk.  One of my most memorable boxes had none other than the robot and Will Robinson from the Lost in Space television series.  Some of these boxes have become very collectible today and are worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Nowadays kids carry their lunches to school in insulated lunch totes of many different shapes, sizes and colors.  Some are made of plastic or metal and some are even vinyl.  However, the one thing that remains the same is that these are designed with today’s cartoon, TV and movie characters including Hello Kitty, Harry Potter and Shrek.  The good news for collectors is that some of these new lunch totes are being made in limited quantities or limited editions and which will make them collectible in the future.

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Norman Rockwell
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Frances Hook
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Stone Lithograph