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A Moveable Feast: Vintage Lunch Boxes

1954 Adco Superman lunchbox

1954 Adco Superman lunchbox

Seeing all the back-to-school sales makes me long for my old metal lunchbox.  Maybe it’s still out there somewhere, picked up by a Holly Hobbie collector.  (I hope they were able to get my name in Mom’s bright red nailpolish off the front.)  Of course, metal lunchboxes are probably classified as weapons in elementary schools today, but collectors are still snatching them up whenever they get the chance!

There probably aren’t any real surprises here – metal is more popular than vinyl, having the original thermos to accompany the lunchbox is important, and examples from the 1950s, 60s and 70s are the most popular.  And, of course, the more iconic the image captured, the better!  Dudley Do-Right will get you around $3,500, but Superman, of course, can fetch over $11,000, especially early images like the 1954 one pictured above.  And, of course, it’s hard not to love the kitschy appeal of The Monkees.  From Roy Rogers to Star Wars, there is really something for everyone, so, if you’re getting bored with brown bags, get on eBay, track down your first-grade lunchbox and bring a little zip to your lunch hour!

Pencil in Time for Collecting: Vintage Pencil Boxes

Spirit of St Louis lithographed tin pencil case

Spirit of St Louis lithographed tin pencil case

My other favorite part of going back to school was getting a pencil box and filling it.  (There was no joy in shopping for clothes.  I think I probably just need to say “corduroy” and you’ll all know what I mean….)  Pencil boxes just seemed so neat and organized, and all those new pencils and crayons seemed so fresh and hopeful somehow.

Pencil boxes are still really collectible, although there aren’t as many of them out there, perhaps because they’re so useful for organizing tool drawers and desk supplies, even if you’re not in grade school.  Still, the database offers some interesting options, like a carved antique example or the historic tin box with Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of ’76 that’s pictured above.  We’ve also got Flash Gordon, Pinocchio, Girl Scouts and more, so even if you can’t hang onto pens, you can find a way to store them in style!

-Hollie Davis, Senior Editor, p4A.com


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