Happiness once came in a small metal box
Updated: Aug 29
Who can forget those metal containers we hauled off to school, each containing something scrumptious — we hoped, at least — inside? And no matter that it was our lunch we were bringing to sate our bellies as we filled our minds and fuel us through the school day, it was the outside of those boxes that mattered most.
Those metal lunchboxes are a thing of the past, surpassed by plastic, then soft, safer materials. After all, swinging a metal lunchbox at the schoolyard bully could result in a broken nose and a suspension.
Still, don’t you miss them?
You can relieve your childhood memories at the Lunchbox Museum in Columbus, Georgia, where Allen Woodall has assembled on display around 1,000 lunchboxes of all shapes and sizes and each sporting popular culture icons, among other artwork. There’s the 1935 Mickey Mouse lunchbox, Marvel superheroes, TV shows like Charlie Angels, Scooby Doo and Laugh-In and so much more!
Nancy Giles (one of my favorite on-air reporters) recently spotlighted the museum on CBS Sunday Morning and explains how the fad began in the 1950s and continued until 1985 when Rambo sealed its fate after some Florida moms felt the metal boxes were weapons of destruction during kid fights.
Click here for the Sunday Morning video.
The Lunchbox Museum is one of six "collective museums" inside River Market Antiques on Hamilton Road in Columbus. In addition to the 16 acres of antiques, flea markets and specialty cars inside River Market Antiques, the Columbus Collective Museums include The Royal Crown Cola Museum, The Chero-Cola Museum, The Nehi Drink Museum, Tom Huston's Peanuts Museum, and The Georgia Radio Museum.
Weird, Wacky & Wild South is written by award-winning journalist Cheré Dastugue Coen, who went to school with one of these. She's also the author of the travel-oriented Viola Valentine mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire.