Charles Addams of course designed the Addams family, but a cat by the name of Nick LoBianco created this lunchbox for the King Seeley Thermos Co in 1974, the year of my birth. Cursory research indicates that the word Thermos was the result of a 1904 newspaper contest in which an industrious Munich resident suggested the name as a play on thermes (heat in Greek). They don’t make newspaper contests like they used to. This example was most like manufactured in Huntington, WV or Norwich, CT.
The lunchbox is a sadly lamented lost art. Though the soft sided lunch coolers of today are perhaps more efficient in keeping one’s lunch temperature regulated, what they make up for in function, they sorely lack in soul. I have gone through many of these lame soft sided bags as they are prone to coming apart at the seams and just tearing in general. Not so with King Seeley Thomas Co. product of old. Metal lunchboxes were multifunctional and built to last. I point to the soft sided cooler lunch bags of today as further surrender to disposable global manufacturing and a litgious society. Metal lunchboxes were multifunctional and built to last- the design of the metal lunchbox is a thing of beauty, adequately partitioning bologna sandwich and fun sized Fritos from purple Kool Aid but also serving as an emergency bully deterrent- a well-aimed Addams Family lunchbox blow to the head could turn a wisecracking Gomez into a traumatic-brain-injured Lurch. A soft sided cooler bag of today wouldn’t drop Grandmama.
The exterior art on metal lunchboxes of course add to their endearing charm. A perusal of the lunch bag selection at Target today provides stunning insight into the profound lack of choice offered to kids today. Choices run from bland solid colors to Spongebob and Scooby Doo. Entirely safe choices all. Now an Addams Family lunchbox tells the lads at lunch that you may or may not have a lunch of beetles and millipedes, a thermos of witch’s brew. Being a weird kid seemed almost healthy and definitely more playful, compared to now when lugging an Addams Family lunchbox to school would get you suspected of planning to shoot up study hall.
This lunchbox goes for $149+ on eBay. The great thing about eBay is how it creates a burning desire for something you did not know even existed 10 minutes earlier. Donations kindly accepted.