The Jetsons Lunch Box

The Jetsons Lunch Box

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Description (Brief)
This domed steel lunch was manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1963. It features images from the popular television series, The Jetsons. The lunch box features images of the whole Jetson family, George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy, as well as Rosie the Household Robot and Astro the Dog. This box is one of the most coveted by collectors because of its great design, colorful art, and scarcity.
The Jetsons was an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera that aired on ABC from 1962 to 1963 and in reruns for decades after. The primetime sitcom was set in Orbit City in the distant future and focused on the Jetson family – father George, who works at Spacely Space Sprockets, mother Jane, a homemaker, children Judy and Elroy, robot maid Rosie, and their dog Astro. Despite the high-tech gadgetry, labor-saving devices, flying cars, and space colonization of the Jetsons’ world, the series presented the family as a normative American nuclear family of the era, dealing with many of the same issues with work, family, and neighbors faced by the protagonists of The Honeymooners, Leave it to Beaver, and Father Knows Best. The Jetsons featured many futuristic technologies that have now become commonplace - video calling, tablet computers, robotic vacuums, smart watches, flatscreen televisions, drones, and holograms – as well as many others that seem misguided or still far-off such as flying cars, high quality instant food, robot housekeepers, and communities built on pillars in the sky.
The series drew from a rich American literary and entertainment genre of futuristic science fiction from Edward Bellamy’s 1887 utopian novel Looking Backward to the pulp and comic book adventures of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, not to mention contemporary space travel entertainment like Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. Americans in the early 1960s were fascinated by the technological innovations of the Space Age and the brighter future promised by the flood of devices, services, and improvements that marketed “better living through chemistry” and material progress. The broad economic growth and prosperity of the post World War II era had allowed many middle-class Americans to purchase luxury goods and participate in leisure activities beyond what seemed possible in the difficult 1930s and 40s. Advertisers marketed new and more inexpensive consumer goods as modern, sleek, and forward-looking, while the NASA space program and race to land a man on the moon captured the world’s attention. The Jetsons premiered amidst this techno-utopianism and seemed to capture the national mood.
Description
Aladdin Industries profited from the success of The Jetsons television cartoon series in the fall of 1963 by introducing a domed lunch box featuring that space-traveling suburban family and their robotic maid. American notions of family life in the 1960s traveled effortlessly outward to interplanetary space on this fanciful box.
Domed metal lunch boxes traditionally were carried by factory employees and construction workers, but Aladdin and other makers found the curved shape made an excellent young person's landscape, ocean scene, or starry sky. Despite the more earth-bound adult concerns of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and the Kennedy assassination, The Jetsons box and bottle showcase the metal lunch box at the zenith of its design life and its popularity among school children.
The Jetsons was an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera that aired on ABC from 1962 to 1963 and in reruns for decades after. The primetime sitcom was set in Orbit City in the distant future and focused on the Jetson family – father George, who works at Spacely Space Sprockets, mother Jane, a homemaker, children Judy and Elroy, robot maid Rosie, and their dog Astro. Despite the high-tech gadgetry, labor-saving devices, flying cars, and space colonization of the Jetsons’ world, the series presented the family as a normative American nuclear family of the era, dealing with many of the same issues with work, family, and neighbors faced by the protagonists of The Honeymooners, Leave it to Beaver, and Father Knows Best. The Jetsons featured many futuristic technologies that have now become commonplace - video calling, tablet computers, robotic vacuums, smart watches, flatscreen televisions, drones, and holograms – as well as many others that seem misguided or still far-off such as flying cars, high quality instant food, robot housekeepers, and communities built on pillars in the sky.
The series drew from a rich American literary and entertainment genre of futuristic science fiction from Edward Bellamy’s 1887 utopian novel Looking Backward to the pulp and comic book adventures of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, not to mention contemporary space travel entertainment like Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. Americans in the early 1960s were fascinated by the technological innovations of the Space Age and the brighter future promised by the flood of devices, services, and improvements that marketed “better living through chemistry” and material progress. The broad economic growth and prosperity of the post World War II era had allowed many middle-class Americans to purchase luxury goods and participate in leisure activities beyond what seemed possible in the difficult 1930s and 40s. Advertisers marketed new and more inexpensive consumer goods as modern, sleek, and forward-looking, while the NASA space program and race to land a man on the moon captured the world’s attention. The Jetsons premiered amidst this techno-utopianism and seemed to capture the national mood.
Object Name
lunch box
Date made
1963
maker
Aladdin
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
plastic (handle material)
Measurements
overall: 23 cm x 13 cm x 18 cm; 9 1/16 in x 5 1/8 in x 7 1/16 in
ID Number
2003.3070.22.01
nonaccession number
2003.3070
catalog number
2003.3070.22.01
Credit Line
Gift of Aladdin Industries (through Lillian B. Jenkins)
subject
School Personal Equipment
Television
Television
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Sputnik
Family & Social Life
Exhibition
Taking America To Lunch
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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