10 Awesome Lunch Boxes from the Smithsonian Archives

  • "Kung Fu" by Thermos, 1974
  • "Welcome Back Kotter" by Aladdin, 1976
  • "The Flying Nun" by Aladdin, 1968
  • "Porky's Lunch Wagon" by Thermos, 1959
  • "Daniel Boone" by Aladdin, 1964
  • "Lost in Space" by Thermos, 1967
  • "Brave Eagle" by Thermos, 1957
  • "KISS" by Thermos, 1977
  • "Julia" by Thermos, 1969
  • "The Harlem Globetrotters" by Thermos, 1971

When hipsters bring their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunch pails filled with PBR to a party, they are dicks. But when someone comes through with some truly vintage joints—like pre-Lunchables era, before-we-were-even-born type shit—then you know that said person is super official.

We love searching through the Smithsonian archives for food-related ephemera, and we’ve recently been caught up on some of the gems from the “Taking America to Lunch” show, currently on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. The exhibition charts the history of the lunch box, from plain metal buckets used by 19th-century miners (zero swag) to more modern examples inspired by TV shows, bands, and popular toys (swagger on a hundred thousand trillion).

Click through the gallery above to see the 10 coolest lunch boxes from the collection.

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