The Sand Springs Historical Museum has 140 metal lunch boxes on display right now. They’re only part of a much larger lunchbox collection.
Mike Baldridge started collecting lunch boxes back in 1990. He found a G.I. Joe for 50 cents.
“This would be something neat to collect,” Baldridge said. “I picked it up and never looked back.”
He’s been picking them up ever since.
For a little history lesson – in 1950, the Aladdin company printed images of Hopalong Cassidy on a metal lunchbox and that was the start – the last one was Rambo in 1985.
Lunchboxes made after 1985 are reproductions or otherwise not collectable.
Baldridge says his favorite is the 1968 Star Trek.
“That attracts both lunchbox people and Trekkies,” he said.
The lunchboxes on display feature images of favorite TV shows, movies, cartoon characters. It was a big deal to have the latest, greatest lunch box, and now it is again for collectors.
While 140 are on display, Baldridge has collected more than 400. He says he’s always looking for good ones.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday at the Page Memorial Library building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.