Lunch Box Nostalgia


I used to take my brother’s old Popeye lunch box and thermos to school when I was a kid, and every now and then, usually around this time of year, I try to find it online (unsuccessfully).

I was distracted by the National Museum of American History’s collection of about 75 pieces. From the lidded, metal pails that miners carried underground and the repurposed tobacco and cigar tins of the 1890s, all the way through to the Jonathan Livingston Seagull tins of 1974. By the mid-1980s, plastics took over.

It was a nice collection to peruse, but a small one compared to Dan Zieja’s 3,000 pieces, which fill in the holes with the original Mickey Mouse Lunch Kit from 1935 (kind of a big deal) and many of the plastic boxes of the 1980s.

But no, I don’t see that ugly Popeye tin anywhere. It must have been really unpopular.