Metal lunch pails (also called lunchboxes)! When I was a kid, these were a must have! Of course, they were what everyone else had, so I had to have one, too! The measure of how cool you were was whether or not you had the latest lunch pail of the latest cool thing – usually a TV show, cartoon, rock band or teenage idol.
The really top-of-the-line lunchboxes had the matching thermos that had the plastic cup on top for bringing mom’s homemade soup. These usually had a cool spring loaded metal clip that held the thermos in place. What’s sad is that I don’t even remember what ones I had, although I don’t think I ever had the fancy ones with the thermos. I do remember vividly the feel of it in my hands; the way the little clasp locked tightly to hold it together as I carried it to and from school; the way it would look when I got home and the remnants of the days lunch – or worse – of that part of the lunch I didn’t eat, were stuck to the sides of metal … ewww!
Like so many things from the ‘70s, these have become collectible and, in some cases, rare and valuable. There’s a cool blog that has a very inclusive list of all the lunch pails available back then. you can see it here: http://www.skooldays.com/decades/lunchboxes_1970s.htm
There's also a site called collectorsquest.com with pics and the story of this guy who has amassed quite a little collection. see it here: http://www.collectorsquest.com/collection/574/vintage-metal-lunchboxes.html