McDonald's Double Clam Shell Container

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The McDonald’s Double Clam Shell Container was designed for the McD.L.T., the McDonald’s Lettuce and Tomato Hamburger. The idea was to separate the sandwich’s hot and cold elements until the consumer was ready to eat them. One side held the bottom half of the bun and the meat, while the other held the lettuce, tomato, American cheese, pickles, sauces, and top half of the bun. The packaging boasts. ‘The Lettuce & Tomato on this side stay COOL!’ while ‘The ¼ lb*. Beef Patty on this side stays HOT! *Weight before cooking 4oz.’ The double compartment polystyrene container features images of how the elements of the sandwich were separated into the two compartments. McDonald’s use of polystyrene packaging became the subject of environmental controversy in the 1980s, and the McD.L.T, with its double container, was removed from the menu. McDonald's and other fast food chains replaced polystyrene packaging with coated paper.
The McDonald’s Corporation is one of the most recognizable hamburger restaurants in the United States. As of 2011, the McDonald’s Corporation and franchisees were operating in 119 countries with 1.9 million employees, making it the 4th largest employer in the world.
In 1940, Richard (Dick) and Maurice (Mac) McDonald opened the first McDonald’s Bar-B-Q drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California. In 1948, the brothers redesigned their menu, centering on the 15 cent hamburger. In 1954, Ray Kroc, a Multimixer (milkshake machine) salesman, became interested in the McDonalds brothers’ high volume restaurant. He worked out a deal with the brother to be their franchising agent and opened the first franchise location in Illinois the following year. Under Kroc’s direction, the company grew to become the giant we know today.
Physical Description
polystyrene (overall material)
overall: 26.5 cm x 13 cm x 6.5 cm; 10 7/16 in x 5 1/8 in x 2 9/16 in
ID Number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Retail and Marketing
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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