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
Great post! I really love the nostalgia of vintage advertisements.
Thanks for reading my post and glad you enjoyed it. I am a collector of thousands of vintage ads and ephemera and will be posting them regularly
I really loved Hopalong Cassidy with William Boyd…Your post brings memories of our 1955 RCA Television, in a walnut cabinet…and Saturday mornings surrounded by Hoppy, Sky King, The Long Ranger, Andy Devine, and Zorro. Zorro never missed an opportunity to slash a perfectly placed ‘Z’ with his foil.
Are we really aware of how much these characters shaped our national ethos? Hoppy was so darn virtuous. And that lunch box is precious.
And than I grew up. Matured into Bonanza. Though my favorite is “Have Gun Will Travel.” Recently removed from Netflix due to contractual issues there are about 39 episodes per year, distributed over a 7 or so year run. Never tired of Richard Boone. I believe on CBS, Saturday night. Of course that was during the late 1950’s all way through the early 1960’s.
Sally, you make me think so, so much of who we are and how we became this way. Keep up the work!!!
So glad to be evocative and bring back memories of the wild wild west. Thanks for your support in reading my blog Sally Edelstein
917-837-5725 http://www.sallyedelsteincollage.com http://www.retroarama.com http://www.envisioningtheamericandream.wordpress.com
Thanks for the article, i too like lunchboxes and built a price guide for them here http://www.greatestcollectibles.com/lunch-box-price-guide/ with images, descriptions and prices for each one. Hope it’s helpful.
Thanks for this! Still remember my Hop along Cassidy doll and his horse! Please do article on Picnics in Victorian days with wicker baskets and long dresses?
Glad you enjoyed the post. I tend to concentrate on the 1920s through the 1970s, but you’ve given me food for thought for a possible future post. Hope you’ll keep enjoying my blog.
Hello Sally Can you tell me who has the copy right on the family picnic image it has your water make on it
The image is from a vintage ad