Orbit Lunch Box

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Description (Brief)
This tin lunch box was made by Thermos in 1963. It has a metal snap for a hinged lid and a collapsible red, plastic handle. The front side of the box shows a cross section of the Mercury manned space flight module, showing John Glenn operating the capsule. The reverse side shows the Atlas rocket launching from the space pad. These images were lifted from National Geographic, and Thermos received a cease and desist and stopped production. As such, these boxes are rather rare.
Currently not on view
Date made
King Seeley Thermos
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
overall: 23 cm x 18 cm x 10 cm; 9 1/16 in x 7 1/16 in x 3 15/16 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Allan Woodall, Jr.
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Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Lunch Boxes
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"I was googling the rare 1963 Orbit Lunch Box and discovered that the Museum has a version in its collection. Two things I noticed immediately were: 1) the condition is very poor, showing lots of rust, and 2) apparently the Thermos bottle is not included. I still own an original - including Thermos bottle - which I saved from elementary school for sentimental reasons. At this point I wonder whether the Museum has any interest in a set. Both the box and the Thermos are in excellent condition, far better than the one pictured. As noted in the description, the set is rare because NASA forced the manufacturer to stop producing them due to copyright issues.Thank you for your time, and for maintaining such a wonderful museum. My family looks forward to visiting it every time we go to Washington."

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