Chicken McNugget Box

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This clam shell food container held 6 Chicken McNuggets®. In the early 1980s, McDonald’s® Corporation tasked a small group of people to solve the technical problem of machine producing a chicken nugget that appeared to be cut by hand. In 1983, the Chicken McNugget® was introduced to the national market and was a huge success.
When Fred Turner became President of McDonald’s in 1968, he ushered in a new era of expansion, which required comprehensive national marketing campaigns. This box is decorated with the McDonald’s® Golden Arches logo and Disney’s Toy Story 2 advertising. It was used to promote the upcoming Toy Story 2 happy meal toys available from McDonald’s® beginning in November 1999. Mr. Potato Head and Rex the Green Dinosaur, both characters from Toy Story 2, appear on the lid of the container. In 1996, McDonald’s® and Disney signed a 10 year, exclusive partnership agreement where McDonald’s® was able to use Disney characters for Happy Meal® premiums and Disney would receive free promotion of upcoming movies through McDonald’s®. This partnership appeared like a natural fit for the two companies since they had an overlapping market base. From November 26, 1999 through December 23, 1999, McDonald’s® marketed the Toy Story 2 Happy Meal® premiums.
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 brothers 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.
date made
ca 1999
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 2 in x 4 1/2 in x 4 1/4 in; 5.08 cm x 11.43 cm x 10.795 cm
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
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Work and Industry: Retail and Marketing
Popular Entertainment
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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