Hopalong Cassidy Lunchbox

Ken Steinhoff's Hopalong Cassidy lunchbox at Mark Steinhoff's

Brother Mark is as big a pack rat as I am, except that he’s a lot neater about it. I was looking around in his St. Louis kitchen last night and noticed an old red lunchbox in the corner.

“Hey, is that my old Hopalong Cassidy lunchbox?” I asked.

“Do you want it back?”

I said no, but then got to looking at what they were going for on line. Mine has a few miles on it, but some mint ones are going for as much as $200.

Big seller for Aladdin Industries

I was in good company with my lunchbox:  in 1950, Hopalong Cassidy was featured on the first lunchbox to bear an image, causing sales for Aladdin Industries to jump from 50,000 units to 600,000 units in just one year. In stores, more than 100 companies in 1950 manufactured $70 million of Hopalong Cassidy products, including children’s dinnerware, pillows, roller skates, soap, wristwatches, and jackknives.

What lunchbox did you have in grade school. Do you still have it?


14 Replies to “Hopalong Cassidy Lunchbox”

  1. A Snoopy dog house with him sleeping on top. I mostly had to eat “hot lunch” but still managed to completely wear out Snoopy.

  2. Brown paper bag? Who could afford those. Newspaper tied with a string. It was hard getting the news print off the white bread.

    (although we did have the hefty paper bags that held 30 pounds of groceries and the top had to be roll down about 20 rolls).

  3. I got a Hopalong vest and chaps for Christmas one year, boy I thought I was decked out as a real cowboy then.

  4. Sorry, no lunchbox. I had to buy the hot lunch for 35 cents at Franklin. My lunch money would be tied in the corner of my handerchief so I wouldn’t lose it. There was no cafeteria or lunchroom at Franklin in those days so they wheeled a big cart with food trays into your room and you ate at your desk. You had to eat all your food on your plate to go to recess. I liked recess so I would eat as fast as I could. I still eat fast to this day! If you didn’t eat all the food on your plate you couldn’t leave the room for recess. Sometimes I got out without eating the food I didn’t like on my plate and sometimes I was caught and returned to my homeroom. I learned to eat first what I least liked and finish with my favorite foods, a habit I still have to this day.

  5. I am a bit of a pack rat too. I had a Roy Rogers lunchbox with a matching thermos. Now if I only can find it. I remember seeing it about 10 years ago while looking for something else.

  6. I had a Roy Rogers lunchbox with a matching thermos and it is long gone…very cool. Hopalong was way cool…

  7. I started out with a Disney lunch box painted like a school bus with different Disney characters in the windows. Later, it was brown bag.

  8. We walked home for lunch except for rainy days. Oh, how I looked forward to Dad doling out that 35 cents. We we the only kids in Cape (and perhaps much wider environs) for whom cafeteria and dorm foods were an upgrade. God love our mom, but cooking? Not so much.

  9. To Bob Wolfenkoehler, is your dad named Dewey and used to work at Landgraf Lumber in the 1970’s? If it is, I worked there with him and as I remember with you also. Tim Luckett, 909-268-2126.

  10. News Print on the White Bread? Good one Jesse!

    If the Brune boys COULD HAVE afforded one those fancy lunch boxes it would have been a tough choice as we religiously watched all of the cowboy TV shows. I believe the Lone Ranger would have been my personal choice. I still get chills to this day when I hear his theme song!!! I was very deflated when later I learned that Clayton Moore & Jay Silverheels didn’t compose it. It was actually from a fancy opera and some guy named Wolfgang pinned it. They called it the William Tell Overture. ba…humbug!

    One of my fondest childhood memories from the 50’s was having a huge cardboard box of small rubber figures with cowboys, Indians, horses, and all the accessories. We (Brad, Scott & Lance – Greg was too cool) would have them set up in corrals, ranches, forts, and towns all over the floor and on the tables to play with. (We had another complete box of Soldier stuff for Army days!!)

    But when our programs came on the old B&W TV we would beat it to the “horses” to ride along side Roy, Gene, Wild Bill Hickock, or the Lone Ranger! We each had our chosen favorite horse with a name. (horses were also known as the arm rests of the stuffed chairs and couches). “We rode those baby’s hard and put them away wet.”

    The Brune cowboys were so hard on the furniture… Mom had to safety-pin towels on all the arm-rests. Of course in our world those towels just became our saddles.


  11. I also had the Roy Rogers version. I can vouch for Vogelsang’s Hopalong outfit, I remember him wearing it in Graphic Arts Class:)

  12. I carried mine in a Roy Rogers lunchbox, which I still have to this day. It is on display in our kitchen, no thermos though.

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