I never had a lunch box as a child (I am too young and on the wrong continent for that), but I have heard a lot of things during time about this North American habit that became an industry a few decades ago, between the 1950 and 1980s. Those decaded were even considered the Golden Age of lunch boxes, as the US’ baby boomers entered kindergarden and they needed to be fed regularly. But the story of the lunch boxes starts ealier, as the laborers carried latching lunch buckets made from toolbox-grade metal. In the years 1880 kids created lunckboxes from colorful tin cookie, biscuit or even tobacco boxes. The first lunckbox inspired from the pop culture was created in 1935 and featured Mickey Mouse.
The first popular lunchbox model was made by Alladin Industries, it was featuring Hopalong Cassidy, and the ohter companies followed suit, making their own lunch kits for children. In those decades there were sold over 120 million in US as the competition between companies developed into an industry as each company tried to capitalize on the popularity of cartoon series, television and movies. After 1950 everthing from Snoopy Dog, Tom and Jerry, Charlie Brown and Star Wars were emprinted on the lunck boxes all around United States. Some of them were sold along with a matching thermos.