Lunchbox, The Exciting World of Metrics


The objects children take to school can communicate messages. In the 1970s, the U.S. government encouraged more general use of the metric units of weight and measure, units that had been adopted in almost all other nations. To teach children about metric units, some parents purchased this lunch box.

The lid of this metal box illustrates four things commonly measured with metric units (the output of power generators, the size of car and motorcycle engines, Olympic distances, and prescription drugs). The back shows decimal units of length, weight, volume, and temperature. One side shows the U.S. decimal currency, while the other shows natural phenomena associated with decimal units (the century plant, the centipede, and the millipede). The top has a scale of inches with their equivalent lengths in centimeters. The bottom illustrates decimal units of time.

The lunch box contains a blue thermos with a white rim and red cap. It holds eight ounces of liquid.

Date Made: ca 1976

Maker: King-Seeley Thermos Company

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: OlympicsEatingEducationMathematics


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Metric System, Science & Mathematics, Measuring & Mapping


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of George A. Norton III

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1992.0404.01Accession Number: 1992.0404Catalog Number: 1992.0404.01

Object Name: lunchbox

Physical Description: metal (box and lid material)plastic (handle material)Measurements: overall: 7 1/4 in x 8 5/8 in x 4 in; 18.415 cm x 21.9075 cm x 10.16 cm


Record Id: nmah_376204

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