Buy a Collectible Vintage Lunch Box | Boxes 1940's - 1960's - Antique Vintage Gallery
Buy a Collectible Vintage Lunch Box | Boxes 1940’s – 1960’s

Buy a Collectible Vintage Lunch Box | Boxes 1940’s – 1960’s

Metal and Vinyl Vintage Lunch Boxes

vintage lunch box 1950 300x225 Buy a Collectible Vintage Lunch Box | Boxes 1940s   1960sAre you old enough to remember this lunch box on the left? My father carried a lunch box just like this one to work for over 30 years. The lid is rounded to allow room for a thermos, and that left the rectangular bottom for an ice pack and a real man's lunch.

Vintage lunch boxes that were made in the 1940's though the 1960's were very durable, most often made of aluminum or tin, and sometimes made of vinyl. Many vintage lunch boxes came with matching thermoses that would hold a drink hot or cold for hours.

Men would carry plain heavy duty lunch boxes like the one pictured above to work whether they worked in a factory, in construction, or in an office. Women, of course, primarily stayed at home raising their families, so there wasn't a lot of lunch box designs for women.

Children's lunch boxes were usually square, with a metal or plastic handle, and a cartoon or tv show design on the front and back of the lunch box, that was embossed right into the metal.  Advantages of a metal lunch box were the durability.  You can bang your lunch box, drop your lunch box, and throw it in your school locker without doing much harm other than dinging the metal.  Unfortunately the thermoses were another story.  Thermoses were lined in glass, and much more easy to break.  The thermos lids were made of thin plastic, shaped like a cup so that you could pour your drink into the cap, and those also broke easily. Keeping a set of lunch box and thermos together undamaged was actually pretty difficult.

Vintage Lunch Boxes from the 1950's

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Vintage Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Metal Lunchbox 1950s 60s
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Vintage 1950s Buccaneer Lunchbox Without Thermos
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Vintage 50s ALADDIN Thermo King Dimpled 71B Qt thermos and lunch box aluminum
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VINTAGE 1950S NAVY LUNCH PALE WORKING MANS LUNCH BOX
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Vintage Lunch Boxes from the 1940's

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Vintage 1940s Tin Lunch Pail Box Lunchbox
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Vintage 1940s Rusted Tin Lunch Pail Box Lunchbox
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Vintage 40s 50s Slide Out w 2 Trays Dome Metal Lunchbox w Leather Handle
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Vintage 1940s Silvertone Lunchbox Tube Radio 7165
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Western Lunch Boxes

Popular themes for boys lunch boxes in the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's were not that far from what boys like today. Lots of tv show characters, at the time westerns were very popular, and cowboys.

There weren't as many cartoon characters as there are today, but the cowboys were widely popular. Who wouldn't want to be a hero like Hopalong Cassidy, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, or the characters from Bonanza?  The Lone Ranger with his horse, Silver were also on tv.

Another popular tv show is still in reruns today, The Munsters, who were great favorites to appear on lunch boxes.  The Munsters were a loveable family of monsters, who were fun and scary at the same time.

Vintage Lunch Boxes from 1965

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1214355933674040 1 Buy a Collectible Vintage Lunch Box | Boxes 1940s   1960s
1965 Vintage Fess Parker Lunch Kit Daniel Boone Show Metal Lunchbox Thermos
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Vintage Mattel Barbie Francie Lunchbox 1965 Thermos Brand
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Vtg 1965 Barbie Midge Black Vinyl Lunch Box King Seeley Thermos Mattel Clean
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VINTAGE DOLL LUNCHBOX 1965 MATTEL BARBIE MIDGE SKIPPER METAL THERMOS
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Vintage Dome Lunch Boxes from 1960

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Vintage 1960s Aladdin domed Walt Disney Metal School Bus lunchbox with thermos
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Vintage 1960s Black Metal Dome Top Lunchbox with Corked Glass Lined Thermos
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VINTAGE 1960s WALT DISNEY SCHOOL BUS DOME LUNCHBOX
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Vintage 1960s Disney Dome School Bus Metal Lunchbox No Thermos
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Barbie was Popular Too

Barbie has been a girls' favorite character for decades, and she was already appearing on girls' lunch boxes during the era of the 1940's to the 1960's. Barbie's signature color pink had not yet been discovered, and most of her designs were on a black background.  Lunch boxes were made with Barbie and several of the other Barbie characters, like Skipper and Midge.

Generic designs covered many lunch boxes during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Lunch boxes often had designs like checkerboard, plaid, tweed, and simple patterns embossed into the metal. Some of these designs were colorful, while others were just a texture pressed into the metal.

Vintage 1960 Vinyl Lunch Boxes

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3215190579244040 1 Buy a Collectible Vintage Lunch Box | Boxes 1940s   1960s
VINTAGE RETRO MCM 1960S MOD GROOVY MUSHROOMS FLOWERS VINYL LUNCHBOX HIPPIE
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Nice Vintage 1960s Ballerina Thermos for Vinyl Lunch box
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Rare Vintage 1960s Daffy Diner Vinyl Lunch Box Plastic Retro
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VINTAGE 1960S DEPUTY DAWG THERMOS BRAND VINYL LUNCH BOX VERY NICE CONDITION
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Vintage Cartoon Character Lunch Boxes

Although there were fewer cartoons on tvs in the 1940's - 1960's, and fewer tv stations, the cartoons that played were highly popular.

Rocky and Bullwinkle were huge favorites, and have become highly collectible today. They were popular with both adults and children.

Another favorite cartoon was Popeye the Sailor Man, with his girlfriend Olive Oil, and his nemesis Bluto. "I fight to the finish cause I eat my spinach" was quoted over and over as the reason that Popeye was so strong.

Both the cartoons The Flintstones, and The Jetsons were born during this era as well, and made their way onto lunch boxes of the time.

Rare Vintage 1960 Lunch Boxes

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RARE Dudley Do Right Metal Lunchbox 1960s Vintage Rocky Bullwinkle Show
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Rare Vintage 1960s Daffy Diner Vinyl Lunch Box Plastic Retro
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1960s Vintage Very Rare Japan Spaceman Compass Lunchbox Thermos Nr Mint Wow
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VINTAGE 1960 MICKEY MOUSE CLUB LUNCH BOX THERMOS WALT DISNEY ALADDIN RARE
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Vintage Metal 1960 Lunch Boxes

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RARE Dudley Do Right Metal Lunchbox 1960s Vintage Rocky Bullwinkle Show
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Vintage 1960s Aladdin domed Walt Disney Metal School Bus lunchbox with thermos
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Vintage Collectible Atomic Submarines Metal Lunchbox 1960 Thermos
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Vintage 1960 Men Into Space Metal Lunchbox by Aladdin W Colonel Ed McCauley
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Astronaut Lunch Boxes

Although Neil Armstrong did not actually walk on the moon until 1969, astronaut voyages were well documented during the 1960's.

Many small boys dreamed of one day becoming an astronaut when they grew up, and those dreams found their way onto many vintage lunch boxes during the 1960s. The themes of space travel, rocket ships, astronauts, and what astronauts might find once they traveled into space was a popular lunch box theme.

The lunch box shape pictured above with the domed lid, became less popular for children as time went on, and mostly used for adult lunch boxes.  I think that they were just too unwieldy and too heavy for children to carry.  Children's lunch boxes primarily were the square type of metal box that fit a smaller thermos inside.

Vintage Lunch Boxes from 1964

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KING SEELEY RARE VINTAGE 1964 MCPHERSON PLAID LUNCHBOX THERMOS Very Ni
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VINTAGE RARE 1964 POPEYE LUNCHBOX THERMOS SET BY KING SEELEY
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Vintage 1964 Tin Litho King Seeley THERMOS Co Lunch Box CORSAGE no Thermos
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VINTAGE 1964 HECTOR HEATHCOTE METAL LUNCH BOX LUNCH PAIL THERMOS VERY RARE
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Vintage 1962 Lunch Boxes

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Vintage 1962 Flintstones Dino Lunch Box Hannah Barbera Aladin
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Vtg Fisher Price Barn Plastic Mini Lunchbox 1962 Toy w Little People Man
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Vintage 1962 GUNSMOKE Marshall Matt Dillon Alladin Metal Lunchbox
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Excellent Bright Shiny Vintage 1962 Pets N Pals Thermos for Lunch Box
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Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists), the owner of a small local gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery, in Cleveland, Ohio, is an artist, author, and a lover of all things vintage. You can follow Paula on Twitter.

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