Friday, August 16, 2013

1994 Thermos Flintstones 'Rock Kit'

Today's Flintstones entry is a nifty little school lunch box from Thermos, a name synonymous with lunch boxes and is a licensed tie-in to 'The Flintstones' movie. I never used lunch boxes as a kid, having lived close enough to school to just go home for lunch, then when I got into junior high school, brown bagging was the way to go. But Thermos has been a leading manufacturer of insulated vacuum flasks for decades and this just seemed to be a cool thing to add to the Flintstones collection. 

The basic invention, dating to 1892, of placing one vessel inside another and creating a partial vacuum between the two is credited to a Scottish scientist Sir James Dewar and is often called a Dewar flask. Later two German glassblowers would determine its commercial viability and subsequently formed Thermos GmbH  in 1904. In 1907 Thermos GmbH sold the technology rights to three companies; the American Thermos Bottle Company of Brooklyn, NY, Thermos Limited of Tottenham England, and the Canadian Thermos Bottle Co., Ltd of Montreal Canada. The three went on to make Thermos a household name worldwide. I remember my dad filling his Thermos (a rather tall one) with coffee every day before heading out to work. That battered gray bottle with nickle plated cap was a staple in our household for many years. Thermos would later produce metal school lunch boxes with some of the coolest artwork to ever grace commercial products and their designs became symbols of the years in which they were made. As I said earlier, I never had my own lunch box, but as an adult it is really interesting to see the myriad art shown on these things.

Our Flintstones lunch kit, the 'Rock Kit' is a sign of the times and clearly shows how plastic had supplanted metal as the dominant material for these. It can be molded and shaped in so many ways, breaking free from the firmly established four-square look of the old boxes. The Rock Kit has that Stone Age appearance of a box carved from rock with a 'bone' handle, although the tiny drink container is rather standard looking. The lunch box measures 8" (20.3cm) L x 6 1/2" (16.5cm) H x 5" (12.7cm) W. The thermos has a pop-top. The thermos bottle is 5 1/2" (14cm) H x  and 2 3/4" (7cm) dia. Enjoy!