Long before we became a fast food, disposable nation, picnicking required something more substantial and permanent than a Styrofoam clamshell tossed in a brown paper bag.
According to a 1948 advertisement by Aladdin, every day was a holiday with your “Aladdin Outing Kit”. Aladdin, the Nashville manufacturers of those classic metal school lunch boxes with the pictures of your favorite TV star emblazoned on them were previously manufacturers of some more sedate adult fare.
Basically a picnic basket, The Aladdin Outing Kit shared in that marvelous post-war exuberance of carefree living and convenience.
Here’s how they explain their playtime snack bar in a 1948 advertisement ”,,,all outdoors is your dining room when you are the proud possessor of a handsome Aladdin outing kit.”
“With it you’re ready in a jiffy to dine outdoors on food kept fresh and appetizing a coaxing invitation to carefree outdoor hours the year-round. Completely equipped from salt shakers, to Aladdin Hy-Lo Vacuum Bottles, smartly and sturdily cased in lightweight gleaming aluminum…from the time you buy it all outdoors is your living room.”
Apparently sales of the Outing Kit paled in comparison to their maiden venture into manufacturing decaled children’s school lunch boxes.
Their immensely popular Hopalong Cassidy metal lunchbox produced in 1950 was so wildly successful a marriage of peanut butter and jelly with pop culture, it enabled Aladdin to build a new lunch box manufacturing plant.
With the addition of the Tom Corbett Space Cadett metal lunchbox 4 years later, the company’s sales really skyrocketed
The rest is school lunch history.
Copyright (©) 2012 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved