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Catalog Number 2004.031.0007
Object Name Lunchbox
Description Lunch box, rectangular, made of two pieces of metal bent and crimped together with lid hinged at back of open top. Continuous hinge. Painted white inside. Sides painted green and tan with black lined trail giving Colorado locations. Picture of cowboy roping steer on one end and Indian shooting buffalo with bow and arrow on the other. Front has picture of cowboy riding a running horse with oxen drawn covered wagons in background. Black and white printing. Metal clasp lock on top. White plastic handle attached to top on each end with rusted wire hasp. Back painted blue and tan is game controlled by red arrow spinner at lower left corner.
Date 1960
Dimensions H-18.7 W-7.9 L-22.5 cm
Collection Aurora History Museum Objects Collection
Imagefile 008\2004.031.0007 (front).jpg
Material Metal/Plastic
Notes Marks:
Painted along top of front of lid, in white: WILD FRONTIER
Painted along bottom of front of lid, in black: LUNCH BOX WITH SPINNER GAME
Painted along top left of back of box, in white: GO WEST
Painted along bottom right of back of box, in white: USE PENNIES FOR TOKENS
Painted on bottom, near seam, in black: BRYAN, OHIO 43506/ U.S.A./ 906TA177

"Lunch Box Beginnings
As with all antiques and collectibles, the history of the lunch box mirrors art and American history. The earliest lunch boxes were circa 1900 metal pails or re-used biscuit, tobacco, or candy tins. From the early 20th Century metal carry-alls that protected immigrant factory workers’ lunches to the post-war lunch boxes that accompanied suburban children to new elementary schools in the 1950s, the lunch box represents the American experience.
Catering to its school age audience, the first modern and most popular lunchboxes featured cartoon, TV, and movie characters. Hopalong Cassidy was the first image on a lunchbox when Nashville’s Aladdin Company adhered a Hopalong de-cal to a traditional metal lunch boxes in 1950. Hopalong was the earliest image on a lunchbox, but in 1953, Roy Rogers became the first fully lithographic image on a lunchbox.
Metal lithography, a redundant stamp printing process, was used for marketing images that appeared on canned food products and on metal picnic baskets that featured images of plaid textiles or woven basket reed. The metal lithographic production for lunchboxes refers to the same type of repetitious printing process that stirred the early 1960s fine art market with reproduced images of, dare I say, Campbell’s Soup Cans by American Pop artist, Andy Warhol."

"It all began in 1908 when Henry Simon Winzeler started a manufacturing company in a rented band hall in Archbold, Ohio. Naming it the Ohio Art Company to reflect his lifelong interest in art, he set about producing metal picture frames and other novelty items to be sold to leading retail stores across the nation. In 1912, the company moved to Bryan, Ohio and had early success with the Cupid Awake/Cupid Asleep picture frames. That year Ohio Art also installed metal lithography equipment and began to produce wood-grained metal sheets, which were then formed into picture frames. Capitalizing on its metal stamping and printing capabilities, Ohio Art entered the toy business with windmills in 1917 and a "climbing monkey" in 1919. As the American toy industry grew during and after World War I, Ohio Art's toy production expanded to include colorful tea sets and drums. In the late 1950's, Andre Cassagnes, an electrician in France, stumbled upon the idea of creating a drawing toy with a joystick, glass and aluminum powder. Cassagnes called this early concept, the "Telecran," which, through relationships with key business partners, made its way to Winzeler. Winzeler connected Cassagnes with Jerry Burger, Chief Engineer at the Ohio Art Company, so they could collaborate and perfect the system. The system they developed in the late 1950s is the same system that is at the core of the Etch A Sketch® today.
Also in the 1950's, W.C. Killgallon joined the Ohio Art Company. Today the Ohio Art Company is still operated by the Killgallon family.
In 1960, the Etch A Sketch went into production and the first one rolled off the Bryan, Ohio factory line on July 12, 1960.Today, with Etch A Sketch still one of the cornerstones of the activity aisle, Ohio Art also proudly markets specialty toys including K's Kids®, a series of toys specially developed for babies and toddlers.
The first K's Kids toy was launched in 1997. It was so well received by the parents and babies that in less than five years' time, K's Kids products were selling in over 50 countries and enjoyed by millions of babies and toddlers. Concepts by K's Kids have been highly recognized by the toy industry and have won a number of world renowned toy awards.
Ohio Art has come a long way since the early 1900s, but metal lithography remains a core part of their business today. Ohio Art is one of the leading producers of specialty lithographic components serving a diverse customer base including Disney, Starbucks, Altoids and Coca-Cola."

"Hopalong Cassidy is a cowboy-hero, created in 1904 by Clarence E. Mulford and appearing in a series of popular stories and novels. In print, the character appears as a rude, rough-talking 'galoot'. Beginning in 1935, the character, played by William Boyd, was transformed into the clean-cut hero of a series of 66 immensely popular films, only a few of which were based on Mulford's works. Mulford actually rewrote his earlier stories to fit the movie conception, and these led in turn to a comic book series modeled after the films.
Film history
As portrayed on the screen, the white-haired Bill "Hopalong" Cassidy was usually clad strikingly in black (including his hat, contradicting the longstanding western film stereotype that only villains wore black hats). He was reserved and well spoken, with a fine sense of fair play. He was often called upon to intercede when dishonest characters were taking advantage of honest citizens. "Hoppy" and his white horse, Topper usually travelled through the west with two companions: one young and trouble-prone with a weakness for damsels in distress, the other comically awkward and outspoken.
The juvenile lead was played by James Ellison, Russell Hayden, or Rand Brooks. Gabby Hayes originally played Cassidy's grizzled sidekick Windy Halliday. After Hayes left the series due to a salary dispute with producer Harry Sherman, he was replaced by comedian Britt Wood as Speedy McGinnis, and finally by veteran movie comedian Andy Clyde as California Carlson. Clyde, the most durable of the sidekicks, remained with the series until it ended.
The Hopalong Cassidy pictures were filmed not by movie studios, but by independent producers who released the films through the studios. Most of the "Hoppies," as the films were known, were distributed by Paramount Pictures to highly favorable returns, and were noted for their fast action and excellent outdoor photography (usually by Russell Harlan). Harry Sherman was anxious to make more ambitious movies and tried to cancel the Cassidy series, but popular demand forced Sherman to go back into production, this time for United Artists release. Sherman gave up the series once and for all in 1944, but star William Boyd wanted to keep it going. To do this, he gambled his entire future on Hopalong Cassidy, mortgaging virtually everything he owned to buy both the character rights from Mulford and the backlog of movies from Sherman.
Television and radio
Boyd resumed production himself in 1946, on lower budgets, and continued through 1948, when "B" westerns in general were being phased out. Boyd thought that Hopalong Cassidy might have a future in television, and approached the fledgling NBC television network to use the old films. The initial broadcasts were so successful that NBC couldn't wait for a TV series to be produced, and simply re-edited the old feature films down to broadcast length. Boyd, who owned the TV rights to his films, was paid $250,000. [1] On June 24, 1949, Hoppy became the first network Western television series.
The TV exposure started a huge merchandising boom, and Boyd made millions in licensing and endorsement deals. The Mutual Broadcasting System began broadcasting a radio version of Hopalong Cassidy, with Andy Clyde as the sidekick, in January 1950; at the end of September, the show moved to CBS Radio, where it ran into 1952.[1] Also in 1950, Hopalong Cassidy was featured on the first lunch box to bear an image, causing sales for Aladdin Industries to jump from 50,000 units sold the previous year to 600,000 units sold. Hopalong Cassidy also appeared on the cover of national magazines, such as Look, Life and Time. In stores, there was a line of Hopalong Cassidy children's dinnerware, as well as Hopalong Cassidy roller skates, Hopalong Cassidy soap, Hopalong Cassidy wristwatches, and Hopalong Cassidy jackknives. [2] There was also a new demand for Hopalong Cassidy features in movie theaters, and Boyd licensed reissue distributor Film Classics to make new film prints and advertising accessories. Another 1950 enterprise saw the home-movie company Castle Films manufacturing condensed versions of the Paramounts for 16mm and 8mm projectors; they were sold through 1966.
Boyd began work on a separate series of half-hour westerns made especially for television. Edgar Buchanan was the new sidekick, Red Connors. The theme music for the TV show was written by veteran songwriters Nacio Herb Brown (music) and L. Wolfe Gilbert (lyrics). The show ranked number 7 in the 1949 Nielsen ratings. The success of the show and tie-ins inspired several juvenile TV Westerns, including The Gene Autry Show and The Roy Rogers Show.
Boyd's company devoted to Hopalong Cassidy (U. S. Television Office) is still active and has released many of the features to DVD, many of them in sparkling prints prepared by Film Classics.
Continuing fiction series
Louis L'Amour wrote a handful of Hopalong Cassidy novels, which are still in print. In 2005, author Susie Coffman published Follow Your Stars, containing new stories starring the character. In three of these stories, Coffman has written the wife of actor William Boyd into the stories.
There have been a number of museum displays of Hopalong Cassidy. The major display is at the Autry Center at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. 15 miles east of Wichita, KS at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper was the Hopalong Cassidy Museum. This museum was dedicated to the heroic image of Hopalong Cassidy. Unfortunately the Museum and its contents were auctioned on 24 Aug 2007 due to the failure of its parent company, Wild West World.
1.^ Radio Broadcast Log Of: Hopalong Cassidy part of Audio Classics Archive. Retrieved 12/9/06.
Further reading
"Drew, Bernard A. (2005) The Hopalong Cassidy Radio Program. Albany: BearManor Media ISBN 1-59393-006-2
"Hall, Roger (2005) Following the Stars: Music and Memories of Hopalong Cassidy. Stoughton: PineTree Press.
Caro, Joseph, CCN Publishing "Hopalong Cassidy Collectibles" 1,300 color photos and item conditions. 1998, Caro, Joseph -"Collectors Guide to Hopalong Cassidy Memorabilia" 1991 (out of print)"
Other Name Wild Frontier Lunchbox
Lexicon category 4: T&E For Materials
Lexicon sub-category Food Service T&E