View Exhibit

Folding Lunch Box

Display: Appetizers and Amuse-Bouches
Culinary Technique: transport

Date: patented February 2, 1886

Manufacturer: Chicago Stamping Company

Location: Chicago, Illinois

This ingenious sheet-metal box collapses by folding its short side flaps inward and pushing in the hinged long sides. Similar folding boxes, now often plastic crates, are used today. This lunch box folded into a compact, flat form that could fit into a schoolboy's back pocket—for protection when a poor report card might result in a father's spanking.